WE STARTED using EkoChef products as part of our ‘small approach to the environment – it’s the entire sector’s responsibility to try to do one thing greener and they’ll see that just a step in the right direction is positive for the environment as a whole.” Ray Brown, Food Director at Geronimo Inns.
Over the past three years Geronimo Inns have made it its business to start building its green credentials. Our approach has been to make small steps in bringing the green elements of our business to the forefront, all of which have added up to some big changes and we’re really in our stride now.
One of the small changes we’ve made – which have had a real impact – is to approach our linen supplier for an assessment of what we could be doing in this area, as we were aware that the constant washing and replacing of chef whites, for example, has a pretty big carbon footprint.
We were pretty amazed (and slightly sceptical) when we were shown the EkoChef range by London Linen and were told they were made from recycled plastic bottles. They looked and felt like good quality chef whites to us, but the real test was how would the chefs – a notoriously hard bunch to get anything past – feel about them.
After a four pub trial the proof really was in the pudding; the chefs found them comfortable and durable and were really happy with them. We hadn’t originally told them that they were made from plastic and everyone was surprised when we made that reveal. They were also pleased; our staff want to work for Geronimo Inns because of our environmental ethos so everyone was really on board with this change.
We’ve since rolled them out across the business and are pleased to be part of a movement that is having an impact on the wider environment. It takes 25 two litre PET bottles to make one EkoChef jacket, which saves 2.5 tonnes of C02 per 1,000 jackets compared with standard polyester. There is also the consideration that it takes 80% less energy to produce EkoChef jackets from materials already available – that’s a real impact saving!
We hope that our use of EkoChef jackets will have a positive impact on the public’s understanding around what the hospitality industry is doing to drive green policies, and also encourage other companies to think about the small changes they can make, that can make a huge difference.