‘UK catering industry missing out on more than a quarter of a billion pounds in energy savings every year’, warns the Carbon Trust

  • Failure to take a lifecycle approach to equipment selection and inefficient use of equipment wastes more than £250 million a year, equivalent to three pence for every meal served in the UK
  • Energy costs could rise by a further £154 million a year by 2020 if short term approach to cost of capital equipment continues
  • Carbon Trust develops calculator with catering industry trade associations to help UK catering industry unlock potential cost and carbon savings cost effectively

New analysis from the Carbon Trust shows the UK catering industry could save over a quarter a billion pounds in energy costs every year, through optimising kitchen equipment, improving equipment use and tailoring their menu options. The catering operations of the UK catering industry account for almost 2% of all business and public sector emissions in the UK.

Over 8 billion meals are served every year across 260,000 sites, costing £770 million a year on energy, and resulting in 3.9 million tonnes of carbon. By taking a more strategic approach to catering operations the Carbon Trust estimates that a saving of over 30% is achievable, saving over £250 million in energy costs and more than a million tonnes of carbon every year.

This new analysis was released as over 100 manufacturers, operators and kitchen designers gathered in central London for the official launch of the new Cut Cost & Carbon Calculator, developed by the Carbon Trust with support from Defra, CESA, CEDA, FSCI and BHA. The Cut Cost & Carbon Calculator has been designed specifically for anyone involved in catering equipment manufacture and supply or the design, specification and operation of a catering site. The calculator will enable users to fully understand how to enhance profitability and reduce environmental impact through a range of activities including behavioural change, kitchen design, menu complexity and equipment selection.

Our latest analysis shows that the UK catering industry is missing out on more than a quarter of a billion pounds in energy savings every year. The catering industry is acutely sensitive to volatility across its entire cost base with inflation outstripping RPI over the last 10 years. A great way to tackle this is to improve energy efficiency in kitchens, an area that is not currently regulated. We’ve demonstrated how the catering industry could save more than 3 pence per meal served, which presents a significant opportunity for industry leaders who take a proactive approach to enhance the economic and environmental sustainability of their businesses.

Dominic Burbridge, Associate Director, Business Advice, the Carbon Trust

The calculator is a significant development for the industry and brings together a number of activities. It has the potential to radically change the way in which capital and operating expenditure costs are judged and it will help ensure that more efficient equipment is manufactured, specified and installed.

Nick Oryino, CESA Chairman

The hospitality industry serves over 8 billion meals per annum, that's 1 in every 6 meals across the private and public sector. The carbon calculator is a great new tool to help operators deliver better environmental performance. For example it can support staff training in how to use equipment more efficiently and give businesses the confidence to invest in best of class energy efficient equipment. At the BHA, our role is to help our members make and save money and the carbon calculator will do just that.

Camilla Woods, Policy Director, British Hospitality Association


Find out more information about the Cut Cost & Carbon Calculator here

For further information please contact the Carbon Trust press office at press@carbontrust.com or alternatively call 020 7170 7050.

Notes to editors

About Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is an independent company with a mission to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy. The Carbon Trust:

  • advises businesses, governments and the public sector on opportunities in a sustainable, low carbon world.
  • measures and certifies the environmental footprint of organisations, products and services.
  • helps develop and deploy low carbon technologies and solutions, from energy efficiency to renewable power.