The journey to net zero will be a phased approach. The company will first focus on achieving net zero in its 145 Just Add Talent managed operator pubs, making up its scope one and two emissions, by 2030.
This will be achieved by maximising energy efficiency and switching to renewable energy.
In close partnership with its licensees and suppliers the company then aims to reach net zero carbon emissions across its 2,255 leased and tenanted pubs, its scope three emissions, by 2040.
Star Pubs & Bars head of property Chris Sladen said sustainability was a “priority” for business, adding, “we can’t win in a world that’s losing”.
He believed the enormity and complexity of the programme could not be overestimated; it spans nearly two decades, covers 2,400 unique buildings of all types, sizes and ages, and involves new technologies.
“We have robust and realistic ambitions embedded in our business that we’re confident will deliver,” Sladen continued. “It will also bring a multitude of benefits to our licensees, decreasing their energy bills and helping them to develop their own sustainability credentials with their customers.”
The business will set interim targets to make sure it stays on track to achieve the long-term goal.
The net-zero ambitions encompass every area of Star’s business, from energy use to its pub investment programme, and from food and drink to waste management.
In 2023, Star will kickstart its journey to net zero with a £1.1m investment in rolling out energy efficiency initiatives in 280 pubs.
The programme will start to scale the most effective methods of cutting CO2 emissions identified in a £900,000 pilot in Star’s managed operator pubs last year.
Some 28 different measures will be used, ranging from right sizing cellars and insulation to motion sensor lighting and Fridge Managers, which turn off drinks fridges when there is no movement behind the bar.
The package of measures will be tailored to each pub building and will reduce energy usage by 15% on average.
In addition, Star is spending a further £200,000 on trials in 2023. These will test technologies such as electric kitchens, solar panels, cellar heat recovery, and heat pumps.
A Sustainability Cabinet of representatives from departments across Star Pubs & Bars will lead the implementation of the company’s sustainability ambitions as well as the annual evaluation of progress.