Sustainability key to hospitality’s prosperity, says UKH

A new report by UKHospitality has said the UK’s hospitality sector is “working hard” to promote sustainability, but found “room for improvement if it wishes to continue to lead the way”.

The sixth UKHospitality/CGA Future Shock Report focused on sustainability in hospitality, highlighting the work currently being undertaken by businesses to promote sustainability.

It also examined areas in which the sector “must do more” to respond to increasing customer demand and anticipate future legislation.

The report recognises the “power of consumer demand”, with customers now expecting businesses in the sector to engage in at least one of four key areas of sustainability:

  • Ethically-sourced food and drink incorporating seasonal, local and fairly-traded ingredients
  • Environmentally-friendly packaging
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Donating to social, ethical or green causes

Findings also highlighted that, despite customers being increasingly interested in sustainability, “not everyone is prepared to pay for it”. Food waste is also identified as a”priority” among industry leaders and the importance of technology in tackling the issue.

UKHospitality CEO, Kate Nicholls, said: “Sustainability is arguably the key issue of our time. It will become more important and hospitality needs to lead efforts to promote sustainability yet further.

“This urgency makes our latest Future Shock arguably the most important to date. It is a key resource in enabling businesses to tackle the issue, adapt to increasing consumer interest and may help the sector pre-emptively tackle future legislation.”

Karl Chessell, business unit director, food and retail at CGA, added: “Our research for this edition of Future Shock highlights the mounting importance of sustainability in consumers’ choices and behaviour.

“The environmental impacts of restaurants, pubs, bars and hotels are under intense scrutiny, and all operators will need to demonstrate a genuine commitment to sustainability as we enter the new decade.”

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