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Greene King pledges to reach zero waste to landfill by 2020

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Pub retailer and brewer Greene King has announced a new target of zero waste sent to landfill by 2020, in what appears to be one of the first pledges of its kind by a high profile firm in the UK pub industry.

The declaration follows the launch of Greene King’s partnership with waste management company SWR in April 2016, and its commitment to Courtauld 2025 to create a best practice waste solution. The aim of the partnership is to continue to reduce landfill waste across the entire managed estate and remove it totally by 2020.

Since the launch of the initiative in April 2016, Greene King has introduced a number of initiatives across its managed pubs, including a waste recycling backhaul scheme, where pub teams separate waste on site into dedicated bins for food, cardboard, glass and other material, which is returned via its dedicated food distribution network. This has reduced the number of general waste bins by 42%.

One year on, Greene King says it has achieved a 95% diversion away from landfill rate. Almost 8,000 tonnes of food have been diverted from landfill across the entire estate, the equivalent weight of 640 double decker buses. The initiative has also resulted in the business increasing its recycle rate from 49% to 70%, and saving 3,950,581 tonnes of CO2 – producing enough electricity (via the anaerobic digestion of food waste) to power more than 7,100 UK homes for a month.

Matt Todd, group trading director at Greene King, said: “We’re really pleased to announce our goal of zero waste to landfill by 2020 and the progress made so far towards it. Waste is a real issue for the hospitality industry, and with the total Eating Out market set to grow from an estimated £87.1 billion in 2016 to £94.1 billion in 2019[3], it is set to become more and more pressing. We’re delighted that, as a leader in the space, we’re able to set an example to the rest of the industry and show that sustainability and an excellent offering can work hand in hand. The results show that we’re making real progress towards our goal, and we’re looking forward to implementing further initiatives over time.”

Greene King is also working with resource efficiency group WRAP to take its waste strategy even further by implementing two key waste engagement projects. The first is a best practice training programme for Area Managers, and the second is to work with supply chain partners with regards to packaging and portion control.

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