How do you make an event bar sustainable?
We were aware when we started this journey that it wouldn't be a simple task and definitely not just a case of changing a few things about how a mobile bar operates, like doing away with plastic (we hope this is standard in 2021). Instead we have looked in detail at the entire operation from supply to serve, and taken time to really understand all the ways in which operating a mobile bar (or any bar in fact) causes harm to the planet. On our journey so far, we have identified the initiatives and solutions below which in practice combine to make us the most sustainable mobile bar company in the UK.
The science and support for sustainability is evolving all the time, so we keep a keen ear to the ground. For example finding the latest and best carbon offset programmes for our clients or reading up on the new west closed loop systems in other industries. We also believe that sustainability is a goal that can only be achieved by a collective effort. So our hope is that as we grow, we can not only support and educate others, but also learn from them along the way. We therefore welcome suggestions on how we could improve the way that we operate, and our door is always open to conversations about the way we work.
“I have worked on bars for over fifteen years and it always has made no sense to me the amount of plastic, food and to be honest anything in between that gets thrown into the bins at the end of the night . A few years ago I even started trying to give away the leftover fruit to people at the end of the event just so I did not have to throw it away. At the Natural Bar Company, we do not have that problem as we think before we buy and also recycle what we do not use. I am proud to be part of a company that is not only doing good business but also making a difference in the industry, we are excited to be leading the way."
Dom - Sustainable Business Director
recycled food waste
Our Closed Loop System
Research shows that a closed loop system where as much waste as possible is recycled internally, reused or repurposed is the most sustainable way of operating. We recycle all food waste into ingredients for future cocktails or it goes into our wormery to make worm castings for our herb garden where we grow ingredients for our future cocktails, completing the loop.
consumables & recycling
As standard we only use consumable items we can compost, recycle or wash. We take ownership of all recycling from our bars at events and choose the most sustainable way to recycle (sometimes this is at the venue) otherwise we coordinate with local services or recycle it ourselves back at our Natural Headquarters.
locally sourced ingredients
Our stock often travels less miles meaning lower CO2 and noxious gas emissions. Also, purchasing produce grown or made locally encourages biodiversity, something which is good for healthy soil and preventing widespread plant disease. In addition, we get to support the local economies where events are held. We have hubs in London, Brighton and Hertfordshire so we are never far away from great artisan suppliers and fresh local produce (if it is not coming from our garden already).
Sustainable Supply Chain
We have developed a long list of suppliers that share our vision and values. From spirits to Champagne we are championing producers who champion sustainability. Our entire standard menus use these suppliers, ensuring our supply chain is as sustainable as we are!
We use spare and waste wood from the events industry to make our bars, whether it is bespoke staging elements or full sheets of sustainable ply and even metres of fast grown timber. These elements are stripped back and repurposed to create our beautiful bars, lovingly designed by Joey (Our Sustainable Production Director). Our bar units are functional and our designs are unique. From private bar hire to a wedding bar to a festival installation bar we have you covered.
We pledge to use electric or CO2 exempt vehicles to travel to our events. Currently we have a small fleet of Euro 6.1 class Vans, with the highest payload allowed on a standard license. This means we need less vans on the road, as we can pack more . As electric vans become easier to get hold of we will be making the switch, and we are watching companies like Tesla and Mercedes, to find the right time. Staff are encouraged to use local public transport solutions, but where this is not available car sharing is supplied to our staff to minimise the environmental impact
Did you know it takes around 2700 litres of water to grow enough cotton to make one simple t-shirt? Hemp uses half that amount of water and a single hemp plant yields 220% more fiber than a cotton plant! Seeing as water is the scarcest resource on the planet, we chose Hemp aprons for our uniforms to try reduce our environmental impact further and to help draw attention to the impact that fashion can have on the planet. Happily for us, our staff and customers think they look super stylish too.
We allow customers to pay to offset the (reduced) footprint we create from operating. In an ideal world we would be creating more carbon stores than we use but we are not quite there yet so in the meantime we support programmes with the Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust to help fund the planting of Trees in this conservation area as part of their Dales Woodland Restoration programme.