CATERING SUPPLIERS believe that sustainability will deliver a major boost to business in the next three years, according to research conducted by CESA, the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association.
However, many in the industry also want a common standard to benchmark lifetime energy savings so they can choose more easily between products.
Much like recent research by Gram UK, there are issues holding back investment in sustainable products. The main one is product substitution, for example when an energy-saving product is specified for a job, then substituted later to save money.
Some 70% of respondents agreed that product substitution is a major problem in the equipment supply chain. When asked what practical steps could be taken to improve their understanding of sustainability issues, over half agreed that independently established standards, with the verifications of costs, savings and benefits, is the way forward.
In a follow-up question, 44% felt that highlighting the lifetime energy savings, or a system that gives clear and comparable lifetime costs, would help solve the issue. John Lewis will be trialling product labels that show lifetime running costs of household appliances as part of the Governments recently launched Energy Efficiency Strategy.
There was confusion, too, about how sustainability will impact on foodservice businesses. When asked about the impact sustainability will have on their business, 7% of delegates said it will reduce profits and 10% said it will increase them. The majority said it will improve their competitive positioning, though.
The vox pop research was conducted at the CESA conference, and surveyed over 230 conference delegates, made up of equipment suppliers, distributors, consultants and foodservice operators, in association with the Foodservice Consultants Society International and the British Hospitality Association.