New guide to running “sustainable” food businesses

A guide to help put restaurants and food businesses at the “heart” of the green recovery has been published.

Food production is globally one of the major contributors to damaging climate change emissions, so the new guide, ‘Food that doesn’t cost the earth’, shows how food businesses can “do their bit” to tackle waste and reduce emissions.

The new guide developed by LWARB’s Advance London team in collaboration with the Sustainable Restaurant Association, provides operators with “practical actions” in seven key areas.

It will enable them to adopt a more circular approach designed to reduce their impact on the environment and give a “boost” to the bottom line, according to LWARB.

It’s launched today (15 June) as part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s ‘Big Food Workshop’ and includes contributions from Raymond Blanc OBE, President of the SRA, as well as many of London’s pioneering pubs, cafés, caterers and venues such as Silo.

The guide, backed by chefs at the forefront of the sustainability movement – such as Chantelle Nicholson, Tom Hunt and Douglas McMaster – covers all aspects of a food business, providing tools and tips to help food business owners to play a role in the green economic recovery.

With this guide, we want to help food establishments make a positive change and participate in London’s transition to a low carbon circular economy

Liz Goodwin, Chair of LWARB and Senior Fellow and Director, Food Loss and Waste, at the World Resources Institute, said: “Food is such a vital part of our social and cultural heritage but the current way our food is produced and wasted is crossing several planetary boundaries. With this guide, we want to help food establishments make a positive change and participate in London’s transition to a low carbon circular economy.”

Beyond purely environmental benefits, the actions outlined have the potential to make a business more resilient to future shocks.

Actions are focused on seven key areas which include food and drink, energy, transportation, consumables, facilities management, packaging and water.

Raymond Blanc said: “If you are serious about tackling the climate emergency, you absolutely must take at least some of the seven ingredients in this guide and start to create your own menu for a food future that improves rather than damages the environment and which extracts maximum value out of your precious ingredients.”

A webinar on 17 June at 10am will give food businesses an exclusive first taste of the contents of the guide, with contributions from guest speakers Arthur Potts Dawson (Omved) and Grace Regan (SpiceBox) who are pioneering the circular approach within their own businesses.

Andrew Stephen, CEO of the SRA, said: “This guide provides clear, scalable steps for any restaurant keen to play its part in tackling climate change, highlighting the huge benefits for business and the planet of getting more out of fewer resources and taking every possible step to waste as little as possible.”

Emma Chow, Food Initiative Lead, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: “As a Flagship City of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation Food Initiative, London is one of the pioneering cities leading the transition to a circular economy for food. This guide presents important first steps for restaurants to help achieve this transition by redesigning their menus and operations so that they eliminate waste and support local regenerative agriculture.”

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