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1 Dec 2022

Zero Carbon Forum CEO/CFO Roundtable brings together 25 hospitality leaders to discuss climate change for hospitality

“We are taking action as a sector, but risk being left behind unless we collaborate and accelerate”

Following COP27, some of the biggest names in hospitality came together as part of  Zero Carbon Forum CEO/CFO Roundtable to discuss how the sector can decarbonise while the industry is facing multiple crises.

The Roundtable is a high-level roundtable discussion amongst the sector’s founders, CEOs, CFOs and senior leaders and forum members.

25 leaders from hospitality organisations including Azzuri, Greene King, IHG, Gaucho, Revolution Bars, Peach 2020, Punch Pubs and WSH joined together, ‘leaving competition’ at the door, with the Zero Carbon Forum team for an informal evening of updates on Zero Carbon Forum activities and an opportunity to candidly feedback on priorities for collaborative action to reach net zero.

Leaders discussed and debated how to build more resilient, profitable and sustainable businesses in a time of crisis.

The key topic of discussion was on how to maintain the long-term strategic focus on net zero, whilst managing the short-term energy/cost of living crisis. Both are issues of survival, and many of the interventions have the potential to address both the short- and long-term challenges. 

Attendees were in wide agreement that the current crises facing the sector has made sustainability a higher immediate priority, whilst demonstrating the importance of adopting more sustainable practices over the longer term.

The group collectively discussed and debated the importance of continuing to provide healthy menu options and a fantastic customer experience whilst significantly reducing the impact of the sector's products and services, particularly the food served. It was widely agreed that customer education is a huge part of this. Typically, customers want to make sustainable choices, but don't know what that means. It was acknowledged that there is more work to be done here.    

Achieving net zero will require transformational change and that collective action will drive the sector to cut carbon and cost through more efficient energy use, more plant-based options and better supply chain initiatives. If operators do nothing, they will have a higher cost base from being inefficient in use of energy, water and waste, lose sales from reputational damage of not taking action on climate change, and miss consumer trends to more plant-based meals. In addition to this, their global supply chains will be more prone to supply disruption and cost inflation.

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