Announcing Our New Toolkit to Help Your Business Switch to Renewable Energy
Our Managing Director, Juliane Caillouette Noble, shares the exciting news of our new renewable energy solutions toolkit for the hospitality industry.
I am so pleased to announce the launch of our new Integrate to Zero toolkit for F&B businesses, available now here!
At The SRA, our mission is to transform the hospitality industry worldwide, accelerating change towards a sector that is both environmentally restorative and socially progressive. Throughout 2023, we’ve been having lots of internal conversations about how we can keep finding more practical ways to offer support and how we can solve more problems for this sector, about which we care so deeply. This toolkit is just one result of these ambitious chats; we hope to have many more to share with you in 2024.
As COP28 continues, the focus is on how we can all find ways to do better for our planet. Industry has a big part to play, and one particularly urgent step is reducing our reliance on fossil fuels – making this the right time for the hospitality sector to embrace the transition to cleaner energy solutions. We’re seeing more restaurants in our network make the change to renewable energy solutions, and we’re eager to share their stories with you.
Knowing how helpful it is to have real-world examples to hand, we started with case studies: insights gleaned by restaurants and chefs who have already made a start down this path and have generously shared what they’ve learned in the hopes that others will follow. These stories are impressive and highly innovative, and we hope they inspire you on your own journey.
For example, Pizza Hut have been purchasing REGO-backed renewable energy for a long time, and describe this as one of the easiest and most cost-efficient decisions a business can make in terms of sustainability. In fact, they’ve saved an estimated 190,400 tCO2e in emissions from 2012-2022!
At Hawksmoor, the team carefully audits their energy use patterns by using smart meters to measure usage on an appliance level, allowing them to refine and improve their procedures as they go. They’ve also updated fit-out plans so that all new sites from 2022 onwards are being built to enable the use of induction hobs rather than gas, and are now exploring retro-fitting options on older sites. Group Head Chef Phillip Branch said, “The switch to electric ovens has allowed us to improve how we operate in kitchens, giving us pinpoint control of cooking temperatures for both slow cooking and fast reheating. It's much easier to keep clean, safer to work on and without the excess heat it provides us with a much more comfortable work environment for our chefs. This has also allowed us to decrease our extraction power, providing further reduction in energy use and reduced excess kitchen noise.”
Meanwhile, Fooditude have left almost no stone unturned on their pathway to Net Zero 2040. They’re conducting an energy audit of their Central Production Unit and have commissioned their first electric van and on-site EV charger, with the hopes of having a fully electric fleet by 2030. They’re also exploring retrofitting and upgrading their power supply and installing a battery and solar panels to generate and store their own electricity on-site. Down the line, they’re even talking about using a bidirectional EV charger to make use of surplus energy from their own vehicles.
Your practical guide to renewables
Inspired by these stories and powered by a new partnership with Integrate to Zero, we set out to create a toolkit– a practical guide that any restaurant can use to explore, research and implement renewable energy solutions into their business. Combining our in-house sustainability expertise and knowledge of the hospitality industry with specialised insights on renewables from Integrate to Zero, this toolkit has been designed to be as useful as possible for F&B businesses operating in the current landscape.
Integrate to Zero is a non-profit organisation that provides insights, supports deployment and enables collaboration to integrate renewable energy solutions ‘on-site, on-road, on-grid' for more significant reductions in emissions, lower deployment costs and a more resilient energy system.
Interestingly, this originally started as a discussion in one of our working groups, where it became apparent that – while most restaurants love the idea of transitioning to renewable energy solutions – many see it as a mammoth, almost impossible task, requiring investment, time and resources that they simply don’t have to spare.
While an initial investment in renewable energy infrastructure is needed, there are many entry-level options. We found that, with careful planning, a strategic shift in energy sourcing and infrastructure can not only reduce monthly bills and emissions, but also enhance the overall financial resilience of businesses – all great news in today’s challenging business environment.
The toolkit delves into a variety of solutions such as switching to a renewable energy tariff, installing smart meters, using induction hobs and electrified water heating, installing EV chargers, putting solar panels on your rooftop and implementing onsite battery storage. As well as individual solutions, we've also explored the multiplying benefits of integrated systems, where solutions are stacked and work together.
We believe this piece of work has the potential to offer great support to F&B businesses that are ready to start exploring renewable options, and we’re excited to see what kind of change this might bring.
President of The SRA Raymond Blanc, OBE, said about the new toolkit, “This is exactly the sort of support that restaurants need: practical advice from experts in the field, combined with real-world examples from businesses that have already been successful in switching to renewable energy sources. It’s great to see The SRA creating such a useful resource for restaurants to help them tackle something as important as clean energy solutions, and I feel very hopeful about the positive ripple effect this can have on the industry’s carbon emissions. I believe there will be a huge change in all parts of the restaurant world.”
To celebrate the launch of this toolkit and help it reach even more businesses, we’re also planning a panel event on January 17th at The Conduit – Covent Garden. This panel will take a closer look at how to move forward with implementing integrated renewable energy solutions in the UK food and drink sector. This will be a must-attend event for professionals working in all aspects of the foodservice industry, but especially those in operations and/or sustainability roles.
At the event, I’ll be chairing a panel discussion to feature an engaging conversation between Dan Hamza-Goodacre, Chief Energy Officer at Integrate to Zero; Patrick Urey, Head of Operations at Hawksmoor; and Anouk Djikman, Sustainability Manager at Fooditude. Other panellists are still TBC. There’ll be the opportunity to get involved in the discussion with a Q&A session at the end. I hope to see you there!
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