THERE'S A very interesting article in this month’s Footprint highlighting that, in the foodservice arena, it is the larger organisations as opposed to the independents that are leading the way when it comes to effecting the big changes in sustainability. You’d be forgiven for thinking it should be the other way round.
The Gram Green Paper, a recent piece of industry research, recorded that 81% of restaurants believed their businesses to be ‘green’. However, 34% claimed they didn’t want to be greener and 41% maintained that they had no green initiatives to follow. Let’s see that again... 81% believe their business is green, but nearly half have no initiatives to follow and a third don’t want to be greener? Mmm.. With this is in mind, it perhaps comes as no surprise that 86% of restaurants questioned did not find it hard to be green at work. When you factor in that their two most popular initiatives were recycling (obliged to) and managing energy (need to), a picture begins to appear of a grouping that believes it’s ticked the box and cracked the green agenda by dipping its toe in the water.
Where is this naivety coming from? Perhaps it’s the insularity of independence or maybe they’ve received one of those lightweight accreditations from some association or other so think the box is ticked?
Perhaps it’s about time the ‘greenest government ever’ pulled its finger out and came up with some mind-focusing legislation to sharpen up this sector. As John Twitchen says in his Footprint comment piece in the same issue, "Legislation is there to catch the laggards, not instruct the leaders."