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Helping the licensed trade take steps towards Net Zero

By Pernod Ricard UK

- Last updated on GMT

Helping the licensed trade take steps towards Net Zero

Related tags: Sustainability, Branding + marketing, Pernod ricard

Every business has a role to play in building a better future. Employees expect it, customers prefer it and investors place a premium on it.

The UK hospitality sector can play a unique role in familiarising the public with the national ambition of achieving Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. In a recent survey nearly 80% of pub and bar owners asked saw action on climate change as a high priority[1]​. Consumers are increasingly looking for venues that offer a more sustainable choice, and employees are also keen to work for companies that are taking action on climate[2]​.

Taking your business Net Zero means reducing your greenhouse gas emissions as far as possible and compensating for those you can’t remove. However, the vast majority of operators need more guidance to reduce their climate impact. The Net Zero Hospitality Initiative aims to make the process of going Net Zero easier and cost-effective for any sized business, and puts the tools for action on the climate crisis into their hands.

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Developed by Net Zero Now, the sector-based climate action platform, and in partnership with Pernod Ricard UK and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, the Net Zero Hospitality Initiative provides guidelines for any business in the sector to get to Net Zero. Net Zero Now’s pubs and bars protocol is freely available at www.netzeronow.org/pubs-bars​ and operators who follow the protocol can be certified Net Zero and receive a certification  mark to display to customers, meaning that for the first time, the licensed trade has a clear pathway to Net Zero carbon emissions.

The protocols outline a four-step process to help operators calculate their carbon emissions, set targets and develop a tailored plan to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, compensate for pre-existing emissions, and certify their business as Net Zero so they can share this success with customers and employees.  

Well-known operators such as Stonegate, Peach Pubs, and The Culpeper Group are already taking part in the initiative, and the easy-to-use digital platform has also helped remove one of the biggest barriers for small licensed operators, which is not having the necessary information to hand to know how to become Net Zero. One such operator is McManus Pubs, which recently started its journey to reduce its carbon emissions and become a more sustainable business.

Tom McManus, strategy and business development manager at McManus Pubs, reflected: “The benefit of heading towards Net Zero is that it’s not just about the planet, it makes business sense as well. It’s going to help with recruitment and to stand out when customers are looking for somewhere to eat and drink, and being a first mover will set us apart. For smaller businesses, it’s difficult to know where to start thinking about what your carbon emissions are, let-alone how to reduce them, and Net Zero Now have been great at helping us understand and analyse our data.”

Ian Peart, commercial director at Pernod Ricard UK, said: “The climate crisis is urgent and taking action leads to opportunity, and new business practices must be adopted to solve sustainability challenges. Collaboration needs to deepen on industry-wide issues that require joint effort, which is why giving access to a roadmap to Net Zero is an exciting opportunity to put climate action in the hands of forward-thinking businesses across the UK.”

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Sam Jones, head of climate and sustainability at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, commented: “Collaboration is a powerful tool, and key to tackling the climate crisis. So, while we’re doing all we can do to cut our own greenhouse gas emissions, we’re also encouraging our licensed customers to use the Net Zero Hospitality platform, to help them calculate and drive down their carbon emissions too. In time it is what consumers will simply come to expect from businesses, so it’s not a question of should we do this, but how do we do this and how fast can we do it?”

Head to www.netzeronow.org/pubs-bars​ to find out how the whole sector can play a part in tackling the climate crisis, helping to save the planet while growing your business. Why not go Net Zero, now.

[1]​ CCEP Independent Licensed Customer Survey 2021, 384 recipients[2]​ Census wide survey 2020: www.reutersevents.com/sustainability/employees-want-climate-positive-action-companies-heres-how-they-can-deliver

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