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Food and drink

Energy efficiency and carbon saving advice for the food and drink sector.

Food carbon footprint

Food and drink processing

The food and drink processing industry is the fourth highest industrial energy user in the UK. In 2010, it consumed nearly 37TWh (enough energy to power 125,000 homes for nearly 15 years) and emitted around 11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Energy consumption in the sector could be considerably reduced by implementing simple and effective energy efficiency measures, reducing carbon emissions and cutting the costs for businesses.

See below for three areas to focus on for reducing energy in the food and drink processing sector.

Boilers and heat distribution: these can account for as much as 60% of the total energy bill in a typical building. Find out how you can cut heating costs by up to 30% with advice on simple energy saving measures, upgrading and replacing equipment.

Energy management: get buy-in for energy saving across all levels of the company, from appointing an energy manager and monitoring energy use, to developing an action plan and training staff. 

Further guidance

Food and drink processing sector overview (CTV004 / CTV054)


Energy use in the catering industry

The total energy consumption of Britain’s catering industry is estimated to be around 20,600 million kWh per year.  The energy used in catering facilities typically accounts for 4-6% of operating costs. Many caterers work on a profit margin that is within this range, so it is obvious that saving energy can directly increase revenue and profitability without the need to increase sales.

Catering operations both consume and waste large amounts of energy. In some kitchens, as little as 40% of the energy consumed is used for the preparation and storage of food; much of the wasted energy is dispersed into the kitchen as heat. Effective energy management in catering can provide substantial savings, as well as improving working conditions in the kitchen.

Food and catering sector overview (CTV035 / CTV066)

The Carbon Trust Cut Costs and Carbon Calculator is a business tool to help manage the energy costs, carbon footprint and environmental impact of catering operationsCut Costs and Carbon Calculator

Energy efficiency support

If you'd like to improve energy efficiency of your organisation, see our services to find out how we can help.  This includes financing and implementation support for organisations seeking to invest in energy efficient equipment.

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