Ecotricity and SRA release renewables policy guide for hospitality firms

The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) has partnered with Ecotricity to aid hospitality firms in implementing a renewable energy policy with the release of a new guide.

The energy toolkit provides support for operators to build a strategy that drives down their carbon footprint, and provides a methodology to switch to green energy, as well as a practical advice on a number of energy efficiency measures that can be put in place to reduce the cost burden.

The SRA believes shifts in behavioural change and new energy efficiency measures could mean a 20% reduction in energy use for operators – which financially is the same as around a 5% increase in sales.

The tool, titled ‘Your Guide To Going Green’ illustrates how processes, prices and people involved in the hospitality industry can impact energy usage, which is around 4-5% of a restaurant’s daily operational cost.

The kit helps hospitality professionals understand concepts such as brown, green and so-called ‘deep’ energy tariffs, where money is used to build new sources of sustainable energy.

SRA development director Juliane Caillouette-Noble said that foodservice and restaurants are ‘hugely energy intensive environments’.

 “Switching to renewable energy and implementing a range of simple staff behaviour changes and efficiency measures is a great recipe for reducing that impact. That’s why we’ve partnered with Ecotricity to provide operators with the expertise to make the right decisions, right now about the energy they use and how they use it,” she said.

Additionally, there is the significant environmental gain of switching tariff, as a brown tariff is the equivalent of taking 6,000 trees to absorb the 13kg of CO2 produced annually by hospitality operators.

The association has made the call because only half of SRA members currently buy renewable energy and less than a fifth source 100% renewable electricity.

 “We believe this guide will help break down barriers to an industry-wide switch to greener, more efficient energy use,” added Caillouette-Noble.

Ecotricity’s lead generation manager Kathryn Adams said they had "found there’s still some confusion about what green energy really is".

“The new guide prepares any operator to go green – a move that will be better for their business, and better for the planet,” she said.

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