THE HANGOVERS have hopefully cleared after another hugely successful awards night last month. It’s an initiative that has set Footprint apart and rewarded those who are not just making headway on a variety of social, ethical and environmental issues, but are blazing a trail. I was unfortunately unable to attend this year (contrary to rumours it wasn’t because my dinner jacket shrank in the wash), but the hard work of the team behind it, and the sponsors, has certainly paid off.
For those who won awards (page 12-13), congratulations. For those who didn’t, your efforts haven’t gone unnoticed and there is always next year. And this is what makes this scheme, and this magazine, its website and the various forums, special interest groups and roundtables so important. After all, sustainable is defined as “able to be maintained at a certain rate or level”.
Hopefully, for your businesses, that rate is a profitable one, but it must also be a long-term one. So while the success of last month’s awards ceremony must be enjoyed, the work now starts on where we go in the next 12 months – and beyond.
We’re in the countdown to a general election, and that means government policy will be in limbo (page 8). They haven’t really helped much anyway, so the onus is very much on business to lead – to make the UK “the greenest plc ever”, perhaps?
For this reason foodservice and hospitality businesses cannot rest on their laurels. Some may already be doing just that, thinking the “green box” has been ticked (page 16). It hasn’t – and may never be. There are bigger challenges ahead, and my feeling is that businesses will increasingly be scrutinised on a variety of issues, from their supply chain integrity to how much tax they pay. At least I hope they will.
We now have our summer break. We will be back in September, refreshed and ready to challenge the sector again to make it another year of progress. And I’ll make sure I’m there next to drink to that.