Sustainability Initiatives in the F&B Industry: A Path Towards a Greener Future

The F&B Sustainability Council

The hospitality industry is facing pressure to adopt sustainability practices. F&B companies are already implementing measures to reduce energy consumption and food waste.

F&B companies can also become more environmentally friendly through sustainable procurement. For example, they can choose local produce and support businesses that use ingredients that would otherwise go to waste (such as Wonky Veg Boxes or ReGrained which makes snacks using breweries’ unused grain).

To achieve this, hoteliers should encourage their staff and suppliers to take up sustainability initiatives. However, this requires commitment and support from top management.

1. Reduce Carbon Footprint

F&B companies are increasingly embracing sustainability initiatives, especially as they face growing pressure from investors and consumers to do so. In fact, a recent survey by Edelman Data X Intelligence found that food industry decision-makers view water quality and climate change as more serious threats to the supply chain than pandemics or waste.

This is why local F&B players, including Mexican restaurant and bar group Loco, Spa Esprit, The Cicheti Group and Grand Hyatt Singapore, have formed the first f&b sustainability council in the city-state to pool resources, share best practices and find solutions to curb food waste. The council held its first roundtable session on January 31.

Moreover, the council will also help its members reduce their carbon footprint through a new Plant-Powered Carbon Challenge launched by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. The challenge calls on companies to commit to reducing their food-based carbon emissions by 25% through plant-forward procurements.

2. Reduce Water Consumption

In the F&B industry, water plays a key role in product creation and processing. This is why reducing water consumption is a crucial sustainable practice.

The hospitality industry has been addressing sustainability in recent years. Engaging the F&B department in sustainability practices has been a focus for hotels aiming to minimize their environmental footprint and contribute to social responsibility.

Consumers are also increasingly looking for sustainable products. Edelman Intelligence reports that food industry decision-makers consider climate change and water quality to be the top concerns, while consumers are more concerned about ethical sourcing. This has led to new rules and regulations being introduced. Compliance with these requirements can be challenging for the F&B sector, but using an ESG tracking platform like RegASK can help.

3. Reduce Waste

Today’s consumers are increasingly weighing not just the quality of a product but its impact on the world around them. This has even extended to the F&B industry, where cruise ships, for example, are reducing their emissions by transitioning their fleets to electric and adopting new sustainability protocols that decrease their carbon footprint, including sourcing 90% of their wild-caught seafood from Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fisheries.

At the local level, F&B players are putting aside their differences and coming together to find solutions for the planet-friendly future of dining. For instance, restaurant and bar operators like Mexican-style eatery The Loco Group have formed Singapore’s first F&B Sustainability Council, a community geared towards sharing ideas to combat food waste. They are also seeking to reduce the environmental impact of their businesses by lowering their energy consumption and switching to returnable, reusable bottles for spirits distribution (ecoSPIRITS). [4]

4. Improve Energy Efficiency

F&B companies face pressure from consumers, investors, and stakeholders to take sustainability issues seriously. They need to prioritize sustainable food sourcing; eco-friendly products and packaging; and waste reduction.

In addition, they need to improve their energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is possible through the use of electric vehicles, reducing idling, and improving building design. It is also necessary to implement a comprehensive supply chain management platform that helps them track and analyze their impact.

This is a critical step for boosting their sustainability efforts and ensuring a competitive advantage. A sustainable strategy will help them attract and retain talent and boost their bottom line, while contributing to a more stable, resilient economy. It will also enable them to compete against other industries, and ensure their business model is scalable for the future.

5. Invest in Technology

With sustainability becoming more of a priority, many F&B companies are investing in new technology to improve their processes and products. This includes reducing packaging waste and moving to healthier ingredients. For example, more and more consumers are demanding diet-specific foods as well as sustainable plant-based proteins.

In the long run, these investments can help F&B companies reduce their environmental impact and save money. In addition, they can also attract customers who are willing to pay more for greener options. However, implementing sustainability initiatives in the hospitality industry can pose challenges. To overcome these hurdles, hotels should focus on ensuring that top management is committed to the cause. They should also provide support and training to the F&B department. Additionally, they should invest in infrastructure upgrades and technology adoption.

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