Top 5 sustainable practices for catering managers in 2023
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important globally, and no less for catering managers, especially as customers are shifting towards environmentally friendly options. Read about five sustainable practices that UK catering managers should consider going forward in 2023, along with examples of UK catering companies that have successfully implemented these practices in the past.
Cut down on food waste
Catering managers can reduce food waste by carefully planning menus and ordering only what’s needed. They can also donate surplus food to local food banks and compost food scraps. According to a report by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) (https://www.wrap.org.uk/), around 10 million tonnes of food are wasted in the UK each year. Catering managers can help reduce this waste by following best practices. For example, The Ethical Superstore in the UK has been successful in reducing its food waste by carefully monitoring its inventory and working with suppliers to reduce over-ordering.
Use compostable or biodegradable packaging
Catering managers can reduce their environmental footprint by using compostable or biodegradable packaging instead of traditional plastic packaging. According to a report by the Environmental Agency (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency), over 13 billion items of single-use plastic are used in the UK each year. Catering managers can help reduce this waste by using eco-friendly packaging options. For example, The Green Kitchen, a UK catering company, has successfully adopted this practice and uses only compostable packaging for all of its take-out orders.
Reduce energy usage
Use energy-efficient appliances, turning off lights and electronics when not in use, and reduce water usage. According to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-business-energy-and-industrial-strategy), the UK’s food and drink industry is responsible for approximately 10% of the country’s total energy consumption. Catering managers can help reduce this energy usage by implementing energy-saving measures. For example, Abel & Cole, a UK catering company, has successfully reduced its energy usage by using energy-efficient appliances and implementing a “switch off” policy for all of its electronics.
Use locally sourced ingredients
Catering managers can reduce their carbon footprint by using locally sourced ingredients in their menus. According to a report by DEFRA (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-environment-food-rural-affairs), local food systems can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing the distance food has to travel. Catering managers can help reduce emissions by sourcing ingredients from local suppliers. For example, Riverford, a UK catering company, has successfully adopted this practice by sourcing the majority of its ingredients from local farmers.
Implement recycling programs
Catering managers can reduce waste by implementing recycling programs for items such as glass, paper, and plastic. According to a report by Recycle for Wales (https://recyclingwales.org.uk/), over 75% of household waste in the UK is recyclable. Catering managers can help increase the recycling rate by implementing recycling programs in their businesses. For example, Skipton-based catering company, The Little Ale House, has successfully adopted this practice by offering recycling bins for customers and staff and regularly disposing of recyclable materials.
These are just a few of the many sustainable practices that UK catering managers can adopt. By embracing sustainability, catering managers can not only help the environment, but they can also appeal to customers who are looking for environmentally-friendly options.
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