We promote recycling throughout our business and try to reduce energy consumption.
It is the company’s aim to:
- increasingly 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.
The company has been working with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), a not-for-profit membership organisation, based in the United Kingdom, which helps food-service businesses to work towards sustainability in their sector and guides customers towards more sustainable choices.
All members have a sustainability rating across three areas: sourcing, society and sustainability. The overall rating ranges from zero stars (lowest) to three stars (highest). The company is currently rated two stars.
Reducing Energy Consumption
Our target is to reduce annual electricity, gas and water consumption through a combination of operational initiatives and the introduction energy efficient technology. This approach will also reduce our annual CO2 emissions.
The company has an Energy Steering Group, chaired by a board director to this effect. Each pub has an energy champion, responsible for reducing consumption at his/her pub and communicating top tips and initiatives to staff.
Each pub receives a monthly report, detailing the amount of electricity and gas consumed, and including tips on how this can be reduced.
Employees receive training in this area, along with an energy guide which provides employees, among other things, 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 AMRs 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, on average.
- 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 consistently trials new ideas and energy-saving technology to reduce consumption and CO2 emissions, such as:
- solar panels
- rainwater-harvesting systems
- ground-source-heat pumps
- adiabatic cooling systems
- wind turbines
- light tubes
- building energy management system (BMS)
- voltage optimisation
We are also part of the Carbon Statement forum – a group which provides energy-saving technology and shares best practice with other companies in the hospitality sector.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
The company’s annual CO2 emissions for the year ending 31 March 2019 were:
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 2019, 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.
Recycling and waste management
As a business, we aim to minimise waste and maximise recycling. Our target is to recycle 95% of recyclable waste.
The pubs and head office segregate waste into a minimum of seven areas: glass, tin/cans, cooking oil, paper & cardboard, plastic, lightbulbs 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 aluminum, for return to the recycling centre – thereby reducing the company’s carbon footprint from reduced road miles.
During the financial year 2018/19, the pubs sent 12,276 tonnes of waste to the recycling centre, an increase of 448 tonnes, or 3.8%, on the previous year.
The cooking oil is converted to biodiesel for agricultural use.
The volume of paper used to print menus and other marketing material has reduced by about 35% in the last 18 months, partly through improved management at pub level and also changing customer habits.
We have implemented several initiatives to reduce food wastage, including preparation waste and plate waste.
All pubs segregate food waste – which is collected and sent for anaerobic digestion.
Several of our meals are available in a smaller portion size, suiting customers wanting a lighter meal.
Any unwanted, but fit-for-consumption, food is donated to our charity partner, FareShare, which distributes it to food banks, community centers or others in need.
In 2018, we were awarded the Waste no Food award from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) for our continued efforts in this area.
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.
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 – cartons are segregated and recycled separately. 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 are consumed on the premises, including unlimited complimentary refills, all served in a china mug!
Published: November 2019
 Gas Automated Meter Readers (AMRs) record gas consumption data remotely, in a similar way to smart electricity meters.