Stamp of approval for Greene King sustainability pledge

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Green by name green by nature: Pub giant makes steps in halving GHG emissions (Getty/Hype Photography)
Green by name green by nature: Pub giant makes steps in halving GHG emissions (Getty/Hype Photography)

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Suffolk-based pubco Greene King has announced the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTI) has approved its near-term science-based emissions reduction target.

Last year, the firm pledged to become net zero​ by 2040. 

The first goal submitted to the global body last year was Greene King would commit to reduce absolute scope one and two greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 50% by 2030 from a 2019 base year. 

The second target was that the operator would commit to reducing absolute scope three GHG emissions by half within the same timeframe. 

Scope one emissions are direct emissions generated by the company under direct operational control, while scope two emissions are indirect emissions generated from the purchase of electricity and used by the company. Furthermore, scope three emissions are all other indirect emissions generated outside of the company’s control.  

Important milestone

Greene King chief executive Nick Mackenzie said the pubco, which owns about 3,100 sites, understood the scale of what had to be done.  

That the SBTI had verified the company’s targets was an “important milestone” as showed its climate action plan was based on science, according to Mackenzie. 

“The hard work starts now as we are just starting out on our journey and beginning to put our commitments into practice,” he added. 

This comes after the latest climate science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – described by the UN as “code red for humanity” – showed it was still possible to limit a global temperature rise to 1.5°C. But, the world is dangerously close to that threshold. 

Mackenzie called the climate crisis the “greatest challenge of our time,” with climate science showing nothing less than “rapid and deep cuts” to emissions before 2030 was required. 

Doing the right thing

“It’s vital we play our part in this,” he continued. “It’s the right thing to do, helps our customers make more sustainable choices and ensures the long-term commercial sustainability of our pubs and breweries across the UK.” 

Last year, Greene King Pub Partners launched an initiative​ to help its sites tackle climate change. The enterprise, Partners Powering Change, largely focuses on reducing energy used by the pub partners as well as reducing waste management. 

This is done by offering its licensees energy and cost saving initiatives such as access to waste management solutions via supplier SWR newstar, which will help reduce waste to landfill.  

What’s more, partnering pubs are offered access to a cellar management system to optimise energy use in cellars as well as the installation of LED lighting. This is to further reduce energy usage and costs. 

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