Coca-Cola launches Net Zero pub and bar accreditation scheme

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

‘Last chance saloon’: ‘For many, the concept of net zero can feel intangible and unachievable,’ SRA managing director, Juliane Caillouette-Noble said.
‘Last chance saloon’: ‘For many, the concept of net zero can feel intangible and unachievable,’ SRA managing director, Juliane Caillouette-Noble said.

Related tags Coca-cola Coca-Cola European Partners Sustainable restaurant association Sustainability Environment Carbon dioxide Carbon footprint Pub Training

Two new initiatives supported by Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), Net Zero Now and the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) have been launched across the UK on-trade.

The Net Zero Pubs and Bars initiatives will dissect what “net zero” means for the UK on-trade, offer guidance on how operators can assess and reduce carbon their emissions and set a standard against which progress can be measured. 

This aims to hand businesses the tools for a coherent and ambitious climate strategy through a three-step – calculate, mitigate, compensate – approach, and overcome a lack of relevant in-house expertise and resources highlighted in a recent report from the British Standards Institution (BSI). 

What's more, sites which are successfully net zero certified under the new schemes will be able to display their Net Zero Pub or Net Zero Bar accreditation in venue and on point-of-sales materials made available to help them showcase their achievement.

‘Drinking in the last chance saloon’

The Sustainable Restaurant Association will deliver the programme in the UK, starting with a pilot in early summer followed by the reveal of their findings in July. 

“A growing number of businesses across the whole hospitality sector have been telling us for some time that they want to be part of the solution,” SRA managing director, Juliane Caillouette-Noble, added. “For many, the concept of net zero can feel intangible and unachievable.  

“We’re really excited to be the delivery partner for the Net Zero Pub and Bar Protocol because it is tailored to the unique features and needs of the sector.” 

A report on the initiatives’ progress will also be published and shared at United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, including the final Net Zero Pub and Bars Protocols.

“It’s become increasingly clear that we’re all drinking in the last chance saloon,” Simon Heppner, CEO of Net Zero Now – an initiative designed to help small and medium businesses create credible net zero targets – and founder of the SRA, said.

“For too long practical action has been stalled by confusion about what we need to do.  

“With Net Zero that has changed; there’s now a very clear destination and this important initiative will give pubs and bars a pragmatic, accessible and affordable way to be at the forefront of the race to net zero.”

‘Ambitious targets’ 

Globally, the food and drink system is estimated to be responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions, with pubs and bars ideally placed to capitalise on consumers’ increased desire to be a part of the solution to environmental issues, according to CCEP.  

The Net Zero Pubs and Bars initiatives have been launched as part of Coca-Cola’s support for the Government’s Race to Zero campaign and its commitment to both reduce emissions across its value chain by 30% by 2030 and hit an overall net zero target in 2040.

“We’re more committed than ever to accelerate the path to zero,” Nick Brown, head of sustainability at CCEP GB said. “We’ve set out some ambitious targets for our business to reach net zero by 2040, but to really shift the dial we need work together as an industry – and bring smaller businesses on board. 

“Just one-in-five SMEs have committed to a net zero target, in contrast to around half of larger businesses. It’s imperative we play our part in leveraging our resources to share insight and guidance. 

“COP26 is also on the horizon and we want to use this as a platform to support the Race to Zero campaign, driving change across the supply chain,” Brown added. “We want to make it easier for our customers to get involved and these guides will clearly lay out what businesses can do, and hopefully inspire them to join us on the Race to Zero.  

“This forms part of our wider package of support to the sector, as we look to help customers recover from the pandemic and build back better.”

CCEP launched a support package totalling £20m as part of its ‘Open’ campaign to help hospitality customers reopen in 2020, and created a Coca-Cola Community Pub Fund​ of £165,000 to be shared between the winners of the 2020 Great British Pub Awards as a ‘thank you’ for supporting their communities during the ongoing pandemic.

Businesses that would like more information on the Net Zero Pubs and Bars initiatives can contact the SRA, while CCEP customers should head to its new trade website.

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