Stay ahead of the game, and reduce your emissions
Of all the business sectors in the UK, the hospitality industry is the biggest producer of carbon.
While there's currently no legal requirement for businesses to reduce their carbon emissions, last March the Government published its draft Climate Change Bill, setting out targets to reduce the UK's emissions by 60 per cent by 2050.
The draft bill does not give specific reduction targets but Gordon Brown is pressing ahead with making the bill law next year, so if you run a business, you can be certain the option to do nothing won't last long.
The best thing to do is to assess your restaurant's emissions and draw up an action plan to reduce them with the help of a carbon management service such as EnviroFutures' CarbonCutters programme.
EnviroFutures Managing Director Amber O'Malley said, "Knowing how much carbon your organisation generates, how much this costs you, and finding out what you can do about it makes business sense.
"Reducing you carbon footprint is a great way to improve your organisation's environmental impact and ethical profile, thus helping to give you that competitive edge."
- Have your business carbon audited. The Carbon Trust offers free reviews of energy use.
- Take initial small steps, like using low energy light bulbs, recycling paper and glass, and reducing flush volume.
- Train your staff to switch off lights and appliances when not in use and make sure they do their bit.
- Do nothing – you'll get left behind by the competition and create more work for yourself later on when laws are finally enforced.
- Replace appliances without ensuring you're buying the most energy efficient equipment available (the Carbon Trust offers interest-free loans to certain businesses).