His announcement came at the MA Leaders Club, which took place in Leeds on Thursday (23 September), when he took to the stage with Net Zero Now founder Simon Heppner.
Stoddart explained the dire straits the planet is in and decided to act now by enlisting the help of Heppner’s business. Net Zero Now is an initiative that offers operators across the industry a toolkit to help them cut their environmental footprint.
Next five years critical
Heppner said: “The next five years are absolutely critical we’ve got to get everyone involved but we’ve got to make it easy and credible for businesses to do so.”
He said that, with Stoddart, they worked out the net zero calculations for everything at Peach from energy supply to what each dish the pub group’s sites serve.
The overall carbon footprint for the business was almost 10,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. Broken down, food takes up 70% of the figure, with meat making up a huge 44% of the 9,671 tonnes total.
Other factors in creating the carbon footprint were the operations side of the business, which included electricity, gas and transport, and claimed 23% of the carbon usage, while all beverages accounted for 7%.
Plea to join forces
Stressing the importance of combating the climate challenge ahead, Stoddart said: “We were very lucky during lockdowns. It was lucky I had three months to investigate how to take on [the] net zero [challenge].
“It took a while to find Simon but we now know the carbon offset exactly for each dish and drink at our pubs.
“To all you entrepreneurs who want to present yourself as sustainable. I urge you to join us.”
Heppner added: “It is complex but only if you try to do it on your own. We have created a methodology and have just started a trial with 20 Stonegate pubs.”