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Meet the operators: Heineken showcases the industry's smart sustainability stars

By Heineken

- Last updated on GMT

How can Heineken help pub operators be more sustainable?

Related tags: Heineken, Beer

Following COP26 there is renewed focus on sustainability and our impact on the planet. This requires us as an industry to continue to innovate and adopt new initiatives that can improve our businesses and impact on the planet.

The UK Government has laid out requirements stating all outlets will need to meet EPC standard C by 2027, This increases to EPC standard B by 2030. With 79% of consumers claiming to have changed their purchasing preferences based on sustainability[1]​, the time is now start making changes for the future of our planet.

We all have a duty and desire to become more sustainable. HEINEKEN UK has pledged by 2030 all its production sites will be carbon neutral, with the goal of being the first global brewer to be carbon neutral in its full value chain by 2040.  This is underpinned by its Brew a Better World strategy. As we look ahead to 2022, HEINEKEN has gathered comment from some of the leading SmartDispense™ operators throughout the UK, to explain the steps they have taken so far to becoming more sustainable.

A pub powered by HEINEKEN’s SmartDispenseTM​ technology saves up to 83% of water[2] ​compared to a pub using a standard dispense system, all while ensuring their customer gets a perfectly poured pint served at sub-5°C every single time. Since launch in 2013, SmartDispense™ pubs have collectively saved an incredible 110m pints of water and 396 tonnes of CO2[3].

In addition, these operators share further initiatives they are adopting, including measuring food waste, understanding how best to improve the energy efficiency of their building, or removing single-use PET.​ While we don’t yet have all the answers, the UK on-trade already has lots of examples of waste-saving initiatives, that could make kick-starting your own sustainability journey less of a daunting task.

Bluestone National Park Resorts head of corporate responsibility Marten Lewis FRSA:

“We recently conducted a piece of customer research, that asked how much importance individuals placed on environmental factors when booking a stay. The results demonstrated over 60% expressed this was important to them when booking a trip.

 "Sustainability has always been a focus across every part of our business and my role was created to oversee the implication of various initiatives across our resort. A few examples of the processes we have introduced include, itemising menu items individually, so guests only receive what they’ve specifically ordered and don’t end up leaving ingredients. We also weigh every piece of food waste daily and log this information to keep track of wastage. Both simple processes not only reduce our waste but also reduces costs, knowing we’re offering accurate portion sizes and exact ingredients ordered by the customer. The latest initiative we have introduced across our resorts is refillable water bottles and water fountain stations, fully removing the need for PET single use plastic water bottles.

"Another part of my role is to regularly provide training for staff to refresh on the recycling processes. Through our monthly SmartDispense™ service visit, it’s one less thing to worry about as we have the peace of mind that we’re serving great quality beer through clean lines, thanks to the monthly technician line clean. Since installing SmartDispense™ two years ago we now save on average 45 pints and three hours of time per bar, per week, so we’re reducing waste and maximising efficiency.”

ETM Group area operations manager Steven Kirby:

“Here at the ETM Group we’re very conscious of our footprint on the planet and have an internal committee that reviews every area of our operations. The pandemic enforced lockdown gave us more time to really challenge ourselves as a business, to review what we can do to operate more sustainably. 

"An example of this is some of our outlets have tank beer units, filled with beer from a local brewer, such as Brixton Brewery. Receiving deliveries of local beer en masse means we can serve the freshest pints while also reducing the footprint of the product with less frequent deliveries.

"HEINEKEN SmartDispense™ has also fundamentally changed the way we do business. The efficiency of the system and service saves us both time and stress. In particular, the time drain of line cleaning and wasted chemicals has all been removed. Reducing the line clean to once a month, managed by a qualified service technician has given our staff more time to focus on other areas of the business such as marketing and improving customer service, while simultaneously reducing wastewater and excess cleaning products.”

Star Pubs & Bars head of property Chris Sladen:

“At Star Pubs & Bars we have been reviewing our entire estate and looking at the changes we can make to ensure our pubs operate as efficiently as possible. Our Just Add Talent sites provide the perfect testing ground for trialling sustainable initiatives.  We are then able to quantify costs versus benefits and uncover the most impactful and cost-efficient changes to roll out across all our outlets.

"Simple changes for us involved switching to LED lighting, full catering equipment switch-offs and creating more efficient heating schedules. In terms of some bigger changes, we have SmartDispense™ systems installed many of our sites which reduces waste energy, water, cleaning and beer and cider. SmartDispense™ Cellar Manager is also installed where needed, reducing energy costs by measuring the temperature of the beer and cider at the keg rather than the air temperature of the cellar, which makes a significant difference.”

Discover how you can serve more sustainable pints with SmartDispense™. Find your perfect system today here –

[1]Capgemini “Consumer Products and Retail: How sustainability is fundamentally changing consumer preferences” (7,500 consumers globally), April 2020

[2] When compared to a UK std. dispense 10-tap system clean to industry guidelines every 7-days

[3] HEINEKEN Beer, Water, Chemical and Gas Saving Calculations, Sept 2020

Related topics: Beer

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