Resources, best practise & case studies for the hospitality industry

Home to world renowned restaurants, five star hotels, unique and innovative bars and a nightlife to rival any global city, London's West End is leading the way in reducing food waste and carbon emissions.

West End Case Studies

Here we will showcase West End business strategies and initiatives at the forefront of sustainability and innovation across the hospitality sector.

Marriott Hotels

Marriott adopts neuroinclusive approach to its events

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The Challenge

15-20% of the world’s population has neurological differences, including ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, dyslexia, epilepsy, and Tourette Syndrome. Whilst equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) is becoming standard practice for many businesses, neurodiversity is often forgotten about, particularly when it comes to corporate events. Attending an event can be a stressful experience for neurodivergent people – from additional preparation needed to get to the right place at the right time, to sensory overwhelm or burnout following the event.

Marriott's Approach

Marriott International has announced that it will implement neuroinclusive practices at the group’s hosted customer events for 250 people or more. These practices involve considering and accommodating diverse needs by making adjustments such as dedicated quiet rooms, on-screen subtitles and captions, and printed agendas and venue maps. Event attendees will also be able to request details about loud music, flashing lights or surprise moments taking place during the event, and items including sensory and fidget toys, noise cancelling ear plugs, sleep masks and sunglasses. Marriott was inspired by The Neu Project, an initiative run by the Google Institute which aims to raise awareness among event professionals on how to design more neuroinclusive experiences.

Hilton Group

Hilton Group uses carbon labelling to encourage sustainable dining

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The Challenge

Approximately 35% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions come from food and drink, but public awareness of the impacts of our diet choices on emissions is low.

Hilton’s approach

Hilton, owner and operator of the Biltmore in the West End, is one of a number of hospitality businesses introducing carbon labelling on its menus. Hilton began this initiative in May 2023, rolling out carbon labelling at 30 locations across London, Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle. The hotelier worked with a consultancy to calculate the lifecycle carbon footprint of its menu items and developed a labelling system to simply communicate the environmental impact of each item to diners.

After introducing the labels, Hilton noticed a shift in guests’ behaviour, with more opting for low and medium-carbon menu options. In response, the hotelier worked with its menu development team to reduce the number of high-carbon options on its menus. As of Autumn 2023, 85% of Hilton’s menus contain low or medium-carbon options.

Hilton claims that it is the first hotelier to introduce carbon labelling at such a scale. It feels that the initiative empowers guests to make more sustainable choices.

LEON

Leon to phase out ‘Carbon Neutral’ claims from menus

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Leon will be transitioning away from use of the term ‘carbon neutral’ in light of recent Advertising Standards Authority research which showed that schemes heavily reliant on offsetting were misleading to the public. Click here to read more.

Marks & Spencer

M&S: Compostable packaging research & Use-by date removal

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M&S join research coalition into compostable packaging - Marks and Spencer will join other food retailers such as Tesco and Ocado in the Closing the Loop for Compostable Packaging project, which aims to explore how effectively compostable packaging can be recycled in the UK. Hard-to-recycle plastics such as crisp bags, coffee pods, tea bags and single use cutlery will all be examined by the working group. Read more.

M&S replaces use-by dates with ‘best before’ labels own-brand fresh dairy lines - Building on its decision to remove use-by dates on fruit and veg, Marks and Spencer have now announced a similar initiative for their own-brand dairy labels. Use-by dates are the date after which the food represents a high poisoning risk, whereas best-before dates are guidance on when to consume. The retailer note that because milk quality and shelf life have improved in recent years, the move is considered safe and can prevent food waste. Read more.

Apricity

Apricity named as one of London’s most sustainable restaurants

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After earning reputation for its circular ethos, Apricity in Mayfair is now one of only 31 UK restaurants to be awarded a Michelin Green Star. The Michelin initiative, which launched in 2021 doesn’t reveal its methodology but considers a wide sustainability approach beyond just environmental management. Click to read more.

Starbucks

Starbucks certifies 5 ‘greener stores’ in the UK

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Starbucks have announced that 5 UK stores now meet their ‘greener’ criteria, the first time the certification has been achieved in the UK. To achieve ‘greener’ store status, the sites are evaluated against 25 environmental KPIs across energy efficiency, use of renewable energy, waste and water management, as well as the use of sustainable materials. Click to read more.

McDonalds

McDonalds: Our Plan For Change

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Imagine the impact if around 1,400 restaurants, 130,000 crew, over 23,000 British and Irish farmers and 4 million daily customers change a little. Together McDonalds can change a lot. Read more.
SH Hotels & Resorts

Treehouse Hotel: MISSION by SH

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A new kind of hotel loyalty program designed for you and our planet—now sprouting at most 1 Hotels and blooming in more SH Hotels & Resorts soon - including Treehouse Hotel London. Read more.

Rocco Forte Hotels

Rocco Forte: Our Planet

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Rocco Forte Hotels are taking greater steps to monitor and improve their consumption of energy, water, paper and food waste, as well as moving towards eradicating single-use and non-recyclable plastics. Click to read more.

Sector Commitments & Resources

The below highlights industry trade body resources and commitments that may apply to your West End business. Read on to find out more about these initiatives and how to get involved.

Zero Carbon Forum: Net Zero by 2040 – a guide for the Hospitality sector

The Zero Carbon Forum is a non-profit advancing decarbonisation in the UK hospitality and brewing industries. With members spanning Revolution bars, Nando’s and Brewdog, members have committed abating all Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030 and Scope 3 by 2040.

The recently published Net Zero guide for the hospitality sector provides a decarbonisation roadmap and pathways for the industry as well as tips to get started

Food and Drink Federation – Ambition 2025

The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) is the convenor, advisor and voice of UK food and drink manufacturing. Building on the FDF’s Five-Fold Environmental Ambition launched in 2007, the recent Ambition 2025 outlines next steps and targets including:

  • A 55% absolute reduction in CO2 emissions by 2025 vs. a 1990 baseline
  • An industry-wide reduction in water use 20% vs. 2007 levels

As well as these specific targets, the FDF has ambitions to reduce food waste across the whole supply chain; minimise the impact of used packaging and encourage sector innovation; protect natural capital, and reduce food miles.

WRAP - The Courtauld Commitment 2030

The Courtauld Commitment 2030 is a voluntary agreement to help the UK food and drink sector improve environmental performance, chaired by Waste and Resources Action Plan (WRAP). Businesses including McDonalds, M&S and Greene King have committed to:

  • A 50% absolute reduction in GHG emissions associated with food and drink consumed in the UK by 2030
  • A 50% per capita reduction in food waste by 2030 vs the UK 2007 baseline
  • Sourcing 50% of fresh food from areas with sustainable water management by 2030

SBTi FLAG Guidance

The SBTi has released new guidance for companies in land-intensive sectors, such as food, agriculture and forestry, to align their SBTs to include land-related emissions and removals.

On Tuesday 18th January, they presented their first draft of the guidance and opened this to public consultation. The results of this consultation are now being evaluated.

Companies required to set FLAG targets

  • Companies meeting either of the following two criteria will need to set a FLAG-target:
  1. Companies with land intensive activities in their value chain:
    • Forest and Paper Products – Forestry, Timber, Pulp and Paper, Rubber
    • Food Production – Agricultural Production
    • Food Production – Animal Source
    • Food and Beverage Processing
    • Food and Staples Retailing
    • Tobacco
  2. Companies in any other SBTi-designated sector that:
    • have more than 20% of revenues coming from forests, land or agriculture; OR
    • companies with FLAG-related emissions that total more than 20% of overall emissions across scopes 1, 2 and 3.

SBTi Net Zero Standard

Science-based targets provide a clearly-defined pathway for companies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, helping prevent the worst impacts of climate change and future-proof business growth.

Targets are considered ‘science-based’ if they are in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – limiting global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

In order to be recognised as a 'net-zero business' acting in line with climate science, businesses must now at least halve their emissions by 2030, and reduce them by 90% by 2050 at the latest, all without the use of carbon offsetting. Companies with land-intensive operations must also set an SBTi Forestry, Land Use and Agriculture (FLAG) Target.

In June 2023 SBTi released a new guidance document to support businesses in addressing supply chain emissions, outlining how larger companies can encourage their suppliers to set their own science-based targets. The guidance includes how to identify and prioritise suppliers for reduction targets, securing buy-in, training and engagement tools and methods, and monitoring progress.

WRAP Scope 3 GHG Measurement and Reporting Protocols for Food and Drink Businesses

As a result of sector-wide consultation with input from government and academia, WRAP have produced measurement and reporting protocols for F&D Scope 3 emissions. These will enable F&D businesses to take a consistent approach to Scope 3 emissions (specifically purchased goods), as well as offering guidance on organisational hotspots, judging data needs, and tracking/reporting on progress.

The Cool Food Pledge

Promoted by the World Resources Institute (WRI), the Cool Food Pledge encourages food and beverage providers to adopt a target to reduce the GHG emissions of the food they serve by 25% by 2030 relative to a 2015 baseline, in line with the Paris Agreement. The campaign provides resources for strategic planning to reduce the emissions from menus, as well as a toolkit for promoting efforts and engaging customers and employees, such as the ‘Cool Food Badge’ for climate-friendly dishes.

GHG Protocol Land Sector and Removals Guidance

In 2023 Greenhouse Gas Protocol (the standard methodology for corporate measurement of emissions) will be launching new guidance on how to measure emissions and removals from land use, land use change, biogenic products, technological CO2 removals, and related activities. It is expected that this guidance will support the reporting in the TNFD framework. Companies with significant land use emissions, or who invest in carbon removals and storage, should take note of developments. Draft guidance for pilot testing was published in September 2022.

Science Based Targets for Nature (SBTN)

Science Based Targets for Nature is a sister organisation to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). They provide guidance on setting environmental targets aligned with the best practice recommendations from the scientific community to tackle the interconnected challenges of nature depletion and climate change.

Guidance is already available for target setting on climate and emissions reduction through SBTi and the Net Zero Corporate Standard.

In May 2023 SBTN announced the first science-based targets for nature in the form of technical guidance for freshwater and land. These cover the ‘Assess, Prioritise and Set” stages of the process, with updates for the “Act and Track” stages to arrive in 2024.

Targets are in development for Oceans and Biodiversity.

The Core Carbon Principles - ICVCM

The Integrity Council for the Voluntary Carbon Market (ICVCM) have developed a framework and quality standards for the carbon offset market, known as The Core Carbon Principles (CCPs). It is hoped that the introduction of the standards will improve the quality and transparency of carbon offsets.

Sustainable Hospitality Alliance announce 5-year pathway to net positive for the sector

Members of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (who represent over 50,000 hotels) have unveiled a global commitment to transform the sustainability profile of the sector by 2028. The pathway is based around 4 pillars of People, Planet, Place and Prosperity and will implement a benchmarking process, looking to facilitate industry dialogue on reporting definitions and requirements.

Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (the Alliance) and WRI announce partnership.

The World Resources Institute - authors of the GHG Protocol - are to partner with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance to help the  hospitality industry reduce its food-related emissions by 25% by 2030.

Sustainable Restaurant Association: global Food Made Good Sustainability Standard

The Sustainable Restaurant Association has launched a global platform for its ‘Food Made Good Sustainability Standard’, a 10-point framework that measures performance across sourcing, society and environment. The standard is hoped to help organisations understand where they can make improvements, and communicate their achievements to customers.

B Corp

B Corporations (B Corps) are companies certified to demonstrate high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Companies of all sectors and sizes can achieve B Corp status. To qualify, companies must achieve 80 out of a possible 200 points across 5 sections:  governance, workers, communities, environment and customer engagement. In acknowledgement of evolving best practice in sustainability, B Corp are introducing a new, more ambitious framework of standards across 2024, which will expand from 5 to 10 sections for scoring.

UK Business Climate Hub 

The UK Business Climate Hub is a new online resource designed to support businesses to cut energy costs and carbon. Launched by the Government and various UK business groups, the Hub is particularly aimed at SMEs and sets out a framework of seven steps to sustainability. 

The Hub includes advice articles on practical actions businesses can take towards sustainability, such as adopting renewable energy, electrifying vehicles and minimising waste. There is also a list of available finance and support, and an events listing page for relevant webinars and in-person events.

Zero Emission Maritime Buyers Alliance (ZEMBA)

Several organisations with a maritime supply chain such as IKEA, Patagonia and Amazon have formed the The Zero Emission Maritime Buyers Alliance (ZEMBA) to accelerate the deployment of zero emissions fuels in the sector. The organisations have launched requests for proposals for zero-emissions shipping services to be delivered in 2025 with the promise of significant bulk purchases if companies can meet their criteria for zero-emissions fuels.

Nature strategy handbook 

The Nature Strategy Handbook serves as a practical tool for businesses aiming to create a comprehensive nature strategy. It outlines the essential elements of a credible nature strategy, aligning with various frameworks, guidance, and regulations. The handbook offers a series of essential questions, recommendations, and resources to aid in developing a nature strategy, whether as a separate document or integrated within existing business, climate, or sustainability strategies. 

The handbook has been produced by ‘It’s Now for Nature’, a global campaign to bring together the business community to act on nature and contribute towards a nature-positive world by 2030. 

New partnership to standardise international hotel sustainability

The World Travel & Tourism Council and Biosphere have joined forces to advocate for sustainability measures in the global hotel industry through the Hotel Sustainability Basic initiatives. In an industry saturated with information, the initiative offers a standardised set of criteria for hotels to adopt.

The Hotel Sustainability Basics initiative is made up of 12 key criteria, based on 3 pillars:

  1. Measuring and reducing energy and water consumption, as well as reducing waste and carbon emissions.
  2. Fundamental actions to protect the environment.
  3. Fundamental actions towards a positive contribution to the communities in which they are located.

Legislation & Disclosure

The below outlines current and upcoming legislation that may apply to your West End business. This list will be updated throughout the year as legislation changes.

Current legislation

Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)

Requires large UK companies to report on energy efficiency measures and plan for continuous improvement. Read more.

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)

Requires large UK companies to publish (at a minimum) their Scope 1 and 2 emissions and report on their measures to reduce emissions. Read more

Plastic packaging tax

A tax of £200/tonne applies to plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into the UK, that does not contain at least 30% recycled plastic. Read more.

In April 2023, the government announced a consultation into moving the plastic packaging tax to a ‘mass balance’ approach to better accommodate chemical recycling.

Mandatory Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) reporting for large businesses

Listed companies, banks or insurers with more than 500 employees will be required to disclose climate-related financial risks in line with the existing TCFD standards. Read more.

Restrictions on marketing of high fat, sugar and salt products

From October 2022 the UK government will introduce media and promotional restrictions will be introduced on products high in fat, sugar and/or salt. Read more

Green Claims code

Guidance from the Competition & Markets Authority for businesses who want to make environmental claims about goods and services.In February 2023 the Committee of Advertising Practice has released supplementary guidance to the Green Claims Code regarding on the use of carbon neutral and net zero claims in advertising. Read more

Upcoming legislation

Minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) countdown

The grading criteria for buildings energy performance certificates (EPCS) is undergoing several revisions. Most relevant for the hospitality sector is that by 2030, all non-domestic rented buildings must meet EPC grade B, with EPC C by 2027 a proposed interim requirement. Read more.

Due diligence provisions to eliminate deforestation in supply chains

The Environment Act 2021 introduced measures banning the purchase of commodities that are the product of illegal deforestation. DEFRA is consulting on secondary legislation needed to enforce this law and give businesses guidance on compliance. Read more

Standardisation of environmental metrics in the food and drink industry

In Autumn 2021 the Environment Agency launched a project to standardise metrics across the food and drink industry in a bid to help retailers communicate environmental performance in a like-for-like way. This follows sector-led developments to introduce a traffic light system for environmental impact. Read more

Energy Bill

Among developments relating to energy pricing and supply, the Energy Bill will focus on new market standards to accelerate adoption of low carbon technologies such as hydrogen fuel and heat pumps, as well as advancing industrial carbon capture and storage. Read more.

Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDRs)

Corporates will be required to disclose a range of sustainability information regarding governance, strategy, risk management, targets and metrics under the emergent Sustainability Disclosure Requirements (SDRs) framework. Consultation regarding this took place in 2022 and the final rules and guidance are expected in the first half of 2023. Read more.

Due diligence provisions to eliminate deforestation in supply chains

The Environment Act 2021 introduced measures banning the purchase of commodities that are the product of illegal deforestation. In 2022 DEFRA consulted on secondary legislation needed to enforce this law and give businesses guidance on compliance. The Government will publish its approach to implementing new legislation in due course. Read more.

Minimum efficiency standards for lighting

The Government has proposed new energy-efficiency standards for lighting in domestic and non-domestic properties. Performance standards would be higher than current EU legislation and would include only the most efficient LED bulbs being available in shops. If adopted, the proposals would come into force in late 2023. Read more.

EU chemical ban

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has unveiled a proposal that would ban the production, use and sale of around 10,000 per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the European Union. PFAS, often referred to as 'forever chemicals', are industrial chemicals that can take over 1000 years to degrade and are widely used in consumer products. The ECHA will invite public comment on the proposals from March 2023. Read more.

Mandatory publication of Net Zero transition plans for large businesses

From 2023 large businesses will be required to publish a net zero transition plan to 2050. The treasury has established an industry task force to oversee the development of a “gold standard” for climate transition plans, set to be finalised this summer. Read more.

Increasing Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging

From 2024, packaging producers must accept responsibility for the costs of their packaging throughout its life cycle. The reforms, which will see a phased approach across 2024-2025, are designed to encourage innovation and prompt organisations to design packaging that uses less material and is easier to recycle.

The imposition of charges for packaging has been postponed by one year from July 2023, so that producers will not have to bear them till 2025, rather than 2024 which was originally planned. However packaging data will still need to be submitted by producers for 2023. Read more.

EU Green Claims Directive

The EU Parliament voted to implement a directive which bans businesses from making deceptive or confusing green claims targeted at customers. The directive will introduce requirements to substantiate claims with life cycle data, and specifically explore the validation of certification schemes, noting the proliferation of eco-labels in the market was a cause of confusion for the public. Claims such as ‘climate-neutral’ or ‘carbon-neutral’ where offsets are used are likely to be banned. Similarly to the UK’s Green Claims Code, organisations will be mandated to ensure claims regarding a product’s positive environmental impact need to give information about negative impacts as well.

Changes are expected to roll out in 2026, giving EU states two years to make changes to their own laws. Find out more

UK Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill

The forthcoming Digital Markets, Competition and Consumer Bill will give the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) powers to determine when consumer law is infringed outside of court. Breaches could result in fines of up to 10% of global turnover. The Bill is under development, but lawyers indicated that misleading environmental claims are likely to included, so the law would strengthen protections against greenwashing. Since the introduction of the Green Claims Code in 2021 even sustainable brands continue to fall foul of the regulator, who note that environmental claims are some of the most complex to construct. Read more.

EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD)

The EU have tabled mandatory reporting for large organisations to protect the environment and human rights across their own operations and supply chain. If adopted, organisations would need to demonstrate ‘prevention action plans’ and ensure that suppliers comply with the plans. Read more.  

Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)

The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) has been formally adopted by the European Union, taking effect from 2024. This directive expands and amends the existing Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD), requiring companies to publish information on their sustainability strategy and objectives, as well as their impact on people and the environment. Reporting for CSRD will involve disclosing an extensive range of metrics, a double materiality assessment, alignment with the EU taxonomy/TCFD, and target setting. The CSRD aims to enhance transparency and comparability of sustainability data, helping businesses to be more accountable for their social and environmental footprint. Read more.

UK Deforestation Due Diligence Law

At COP28 in Dubai, Defra announced new legislation to ensure that products containing palm oil, soy, leather, beef and cocoa will no longer linked to illegal deforestation. The UK Deforestation Due Diligence law is expected to apply to large businesses with a turnover of over £50m and will ban sourcing of these products from land illegally converted or deforested. Eligible businesses will also be required to undertake due diligence on their supply chains and report this annually for transparency.

Defra has not yet announced when the requirements will come into effect. Find out more.

Voluntary disclosures

Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

Initially developed as a voluntary disclosure to improve organisational reporting of climate-related financial risks and opportunities, reporting on Taskforce for Climate Related Disclosures (TCFD) is now mandatory for the largest UK-registered companies.

The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) was announced to take over the monitoring and duties of the TCFD in July 2023. Global investor-focused sustainability criteria are to be standardised by ISSB. Since the ISSB standards completely reflect the TCFD suggestions, there won't likely be any significant changes for those who report to TCFD. Read More.

Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD)

The Taskforce on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) is a risk management and disclosure framework for organisations to report and act on nature-related risks such as biodiversity loss and other impacts to natural capital. The framework published its final recommendations in September 2023. Read more.

CDP 

CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project) is the global disclosure system for companies and investors to manage their environmental impacts. CDP is the gold standard for corporate environmental reporting and is fully aligned with the TCFD recommendations. CDP covers disclosures across Climate Change, Forests and Water. 2023 will see organisations asked to disclose on plastics for the first time through CDP’s water questionnaire. Read more.

International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB)

The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) is a standard-setting body working to develop an international baseline standard for sustainability disclosures. ISSB aims to unite the fragmented reporting standards and quality among different regions and nations. This ISSB has issued its first two finalised frameworks, IFRS S1 and IFRS S2, with an expectation that the first corporate reports aligned with them will be published in 2025. It is anticipated that the ISSB standard will become the dominant framework for sustainability reporting.

IFRS S1 is the “core baseline” of sustainability reporting and is applicable to all large businesses. It covers company impact, including emissions across all scopes and waste management.

IFRS S2 is concerned with climate mitigation and climate adaptation and builds on existing disclosure frameworks in this field, mainly the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Find out more here.

TCFD Climate Scenario Tool for Food, Agriculture and Forest Products

A free online tool created by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development allows users to investigate possible climate change scenarios that are relevant to the food, agriculture, and forest products industries while navigating by specific variables and compare, visualise and download output data. The tool aids users in assessing their value chains' strategic resilience to climate risk and provides information for disclosures in response to the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Read more.

80m of funding announced to help UK businesses decarbonise

The UK government has announced over £80 million in funding to support businesses in their efforts to reduce carbon emissions. This funding aims to help companies shift from fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives. Projects funded so far range from hydrogen-powered cornflake production to low carbon whisky distillation. Find out more here.

Eliminating single use items

Effective from October 2023 the Government has introduced a ban on a range of single-use plastic items including plastic plates, trays, bowls, cutlery, and polystyrene food containers. The ban applies to retailers, takeaways, food vendors, and the hospitality industry. Read more.