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What is the impact of hospitality and events on the environment?

Part V: The Future

In this article, we take a look at the future and our commitment to solving the problem.

This is a big question that requires a suitably complex answer. We cannot help but witness in both fixed location and temporary hospitality venues the large amount of consumption and resulting waste, see picture above if you are struggling to remember what the end of an event can look like. There have been valiant attempts to calculate this waste, for example a study in California in 2006 found that 2.5 pounds (1.25kg) of waste is created by a single person at an event. These interconnected industries, with a combined contribution to the UK economy of £115.3 Billion in 2016/17, are economically significant as well as socially and culturally necessary so we must work hard to reduce this impact.

The Future

It is clear from the preceding blogs posts on this topic that the problem cannot be solved by one business or industry, rather there needs to be a collective change across industries. This is a transition period and a golden opportunity for businesses to hold themselves and their supply chain accountable. The good news is that the tide appears to be changing, a 2020 HSBC survey of companies found that 86% of businesses surveyed had business environmental goals, a ten per cent increase on the previous year.This shift is being led by consumer trends, for example a PWC global survey found conducted just before the pandemic showed that 43% of consumers hold businesses accountable for their impact on the environment, indicating this a global change not just something happening in the West. As consumers we have more power than we think so next time you make a purchasing decision vote with your feet and opt to buy from a sustainably focused business. This will hopefully cause more businesses to follow suit and in time reduce the environmental impact of the hospitality and events industry, and not a moment too soon in our opinion because there really is no Planet B!

The Natural Bar is committed to showing the industry that with a little investment and thought you can operate in sustainability. In addition, there is a strong business case for doing this as we save on paying for ingredients such as herbs & syrups, materials to build our bars and anything else really as our Natural HQ normally has everything we need. More importantly we clear our conscience and that our customers, not to mention it is super fun and creative. So what does the future hold for us? Well have already been accredited* for our sustainable practises but we are going to improve on that to get a 100% score. In the long run we want to become carbon positive as a business, we are working on ideas for that and will document our journey here so you can all come along for the ride. What is set in stone is that we are not going backwards and we hope that other bar companies follow suit. Indeed this sums up well our attitude moving forward: Competition Makes Us Faster; Collaboration Makes Us Better!

By Dominic John

Dominic is the Sustainable Business Director at The Natural Bar Company. He has worked in hospitality and events for the past fifteen years and in sustainable businesses for the past three years, his passion is creating closed loop systems and proving that sustainability in the long run can save rather than cost money to a business .