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Sustainability key to hospitality’s prosperity says report

20 Jan 2020
The UK hospitality industry is promoting sustainability but there is room for improvement if it wishes to continue to lead the way, according to the sixth UKHospitality and CGA Future Shock Report.

The Future Shock Report focuses on sustainability in the hospitality industry highlighting the work being done by businesses to promote this. It also examines areas where the sector must improve to respond to increasing consumer demand and anticipate future legislation.

Customers are expecting businesses to engage with:

  • Using ethically-sourced food and drink
  • Incorporating seasonal, local and fairly-traded ingredients to their menus
  • Using environmentally friendly packaging
  • Reducing their carbon footprint
  • Donating to social, ethical and green causes

Despite customers being interested in sustainability the report found that not everyone was willing to pay for it.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “Sustainability is arguably the key issue of our time. It will become more important and hospitality needs to lead efforts to promote sustainability yet further. 

“This urgency makes our latest Future Shock arguably the most important to date. It is a key resource in enabling businesses to tackle the issue, adapt to increasing consumer interest and may help the sector pre-emptively tackle future legislation.”

Food waste has also been identified as a top priority amongst industry leaders. According to the charity FareShare 1.9 million tonnes of food is wasted by the food industry every year in the UK.

Karl Chessell, business unit director for food and retail at CGA, added: “Our research for this edition of Future Shock highlights the mounting importance of sustainability in consumers’ choices and behaviour.

“The environmental impacts of restaurants, pubs, bars and hotels are under intense scrutiny, and all operators will need to demonstrate a genuine commitment to sustainability as we enter the new decade.

As the case studies in this report show, hospitality businesses of all sizes are actively engaging and investing in this urgent issue—but there is much more work to be done in 2020 and beyond.”