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We promote recycling throughout our business and look to reduce energy consumption, wherever possible. It is the company’s aim to:

  • minimise our environmental impact.
  • minimise energy consumption and maximise efficiency.
  • promote efficient purchasing to minimise waste and allow for the recycling of materials.
  • adopt efficient waste-management strategies and stop waste being sent to landfill.
  • minimise any emissions or effluents which may cause environmental damage.

Over the past 12 months, the company has worked on several initiatives supporting this area.

Reducing Energy Consumption

Our target is to reduce annual electricity, gas and water consumption by 5% through a combination of initiatives and the introduction energy efficient technology. This approach will also reduce our annual CO2 emissions.

Each pub receives a monthly report, detailing the amount of electricity and gas consumed, and including tips on how this can be reduced. We comply with the government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy-Efficiency Scheme and Energy-Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).

The company has a dedicated Energy Steering Group, chaired by a board director, whose focus is to reduce consumption by providing pubs with tools and information required to save energy and to identify new technology to help to achieve an annual target energy reduction of 5%. Each pub also has an energy champion, responsible for reducing consumption at his/her pub and communicating top tips and initiatives to staff.

We have released an updated energy brief and training in this area. We have also prepared a guide which provides employees with information about when equipment should be turned off or on.

Cheetah extraction management systems are installed in all pubs to control the ventilation in kitchens. Smart electricity meters have been fitted in around 80% of pubs and are being rolled out to the remaining ones. Gas AMR loggers are installed in around 75% of pubs.

Several pieces of energy-saving technology are now installed as standard in any new pubs and have been retro-fitted in many pubs across the estate. These include:

  • free-air cellar cooling systems (cools the cellar by bringing in outside air, when the external temperatures are low enough).
  • sensor lighting.
  • LED lighting, using 50% less energy.
  • Lossnay heat-recovery systems (extraction system which recovers heat energy from the building, then uses it to warm up the incoming fresh air).

The company regularly trials new ideas and energy-saving technology to reduce consumption and CO2 emissions, such as:

  • solar panels
  • rainwater-harvesting system
  • ground-source-heat pump
  • adiabatic cooling system
  • wind turbine
  • light tubes
  • building energy management system (BMS)

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

The company’s annual CO2 emissions for the year ending 31 March 2017 were:


GMG Emission




Scope 1

Tonnes CO2e



Scope 2

Tonnes CO2e




Tonnes CO2e/£m revenue



  • Conversion factors for electricity and gas are those published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
  • Reported data is in respect of the year ended 31 March 2017, to align with the period under which carbon emissions are reported.
  • Scope 1 emissions result from the combustion of gas; scope 2 emissions result from the purchase of electricity.
  • Refrigerant emissions from our pubs are not reported, as they are immaterial.

Waste and Recycling

As a business, we seek to minimise waste and recycle, where possible. Our target is to recycle 95% of recyclable waste.

The pubs and head office segregate waste into five areas: glass, tin, cooking oil, mixed recycling (paper, cardboard AND plastic) and general waste.

In addition, food waste is also separated and sent for anaerobic digestion.

A scheme to recycle textiles is being developed.

The remaining non-recyclable waste is sent to waste-to-energy power plants which reduce CO2 and the use of fossil fuels. No waste is sent to landfill.

Wetherspoon has a national distribution centre for food, some bottled drinks and non-consumable products. It also includes a recycling centre. When making deliveries to pubs, the lorries collect mixed recycling, used cooking oil, textiles and tin, for return to the recycling centre – thereby reducing the company’s carbon footprint from reduced road miles.

During the financial year 2016/17, the pubs sent 9,575 tonnes of waste to the recycling centre, a reduction of 476 tonnes or 4.7% on the previous year.

The cooking oil is converted to biodiesel for agricultural use.



The company has set the following targets by 2025:

  • 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable.
  • 70% of plastic packaging effectively recycled or composted.
  • 30% average recycled content across plastic packaging.
  • Take action to eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic items through redesign, innovation or alternative (reuse) delivery models.

Single-use plastics

The company is taking the following steps to reduce consumption of single-use plastics.

  • Plastic straws – these were removed in December 2017 and replaced with 100% biodegradable and 100% recyclable paper straws and wrappers.
  • Plastic water bottles – complimentary water fountains are available in all pubs, as part of the nationwide Refill scheme. Alternatives to the current single-use plastic bottles are being reviewed.
  • Plastic packaging – we are working with our major suppliers and with the support of WRAP and the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) to reduce, and where possible remove, the use of plastic packaging for food.
  • Plastic milk cartons – we are working with our dairy supplier to replace plastic milk cartons with bag-in-a-box milk, so using significantly less plastic packaging.
  • Disposable coffee cups – the majority of hot drinks sold within pubs is consumed on the premises, including unlimited complimentary refills, all served in a china mug!