25 operators came together to discuss how the sector can decarbonise while facing multiple crises, as part of the Zero Carbon Forum Roundtable held in London on 29 November.

The Roundtable, a discussion amongst sector founders, CEOs, CFOs, senior leaders, and forum members, involved leaders from organisations including Azzurri, Greene King, Gaucho, Revolution Bars, Peach 20/20, and Punch Pubs.

The event served as an opportunity for operators to provide feedback on priorities for collaborative action to reach net zero, as well as discuss how to build resilience, profitability, and sustainability in a time of crisis.

The key topic of discussion was maintaining a long-term strategic focus on net zero whilst managing the short-term energy and cost of living crises. Attendees were in agreement that current crises have made sustainability a higher immediate priority and demonstrated the importance of carbon reduction and energy saving over the longer term.

The group also discussed the importance of providing healthy menu options while reducing the impact of the sector’s products and services, as well as how to help consumers make more sustainable choices.

Zero Carbon Forum is exploring opportunities to cut costs, engage suppliers, share best practice, and align strategy to reduce emissions and build resilience.

Its Climate Action Plan, which prioritises 150 initiatives to reduce emissions, has helped forum members cut 5m tonnes of CO2 by 10%, according to the organisation.

Mark Chapman, founder and CEO, Zero Carbon Forum, said: “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.”