Why sustainability needs to be on your mind this summer
I recently read an article that stated that the environment was a higher priority to 25% of UK consumers since the COVID-19 outbreak* and it got me thinking about what this means to our customers. If the environment is a higher priority, sustainability should be front of mind this summer. But what does sustainability mean, are there any benefits and where can you start?
The word sustainability is used way more frequently than it was ten years ago. But what does it actually mean and what does it mean to you?
Well, to keep it simple it refers to how you, me or we can minimise our impact on the environment and the planet. When it comes to thinking about food sustainability this can mean addressing specific issues such as your supply chain, carbon footprint, wastage, packaging, recycling and more.
So why is it important for you to really consider your businesses sustainability?
Well. not only is it a positive step in helping the planet and supporting the environment, there are actually real benefits in becoming more sustainable, making it a worthwhile investment in the long term.
One of the first benefits is increasing your brand loyalty. Consumers are progressively choosing where to shop and dine based on a business’s values and when you align your values with your customers they are much more likely to return as they will feel like their money is contributing and making a difference.
By being more sustainable, whether that’s having a full on sustainability strategy or just some simple steps you are taking you need to shout about it, on your menus, website and social media as being more sustainable may help appeal to a wider range of potential customers and push people to choose you over a competitor.
Attracting new customers and increasing brand loyalty will ultimately increase your profits but also being more sustainable can also help you reduce your costs through minimising wastage for example.
When thinking about where to start with your businesses sustainability our first bit of advice would be to begin with the small wins that can be easy to address before you start thinking about your longer term strategy
Here are some ways you can make small steps to being more sustainable
- Print menus on recycled paper
- Cut down on printed receipts
- Use biodegradable bin bags
- Swap out non-recyclable packaging for reusable and recyclable materials
- Thoroughly clean and maintain all your equipment and appliances ensures they run as efficiently as possible
- Remember to recycle
- Get your waste cooking oil collected for use in biodiesel
- Reduce your food waste
- Offer more vegetarian and vegan options
- Consider products with accreditations as these almost always include environmental criteria
- Consolidate your suppliers where possible to reduce deliveries
Sustainability is only going to become even more important in the future so now is the time to really sit down and think about it and do your bit to save the planet however big or small. If we all do our little bit it’s a little bit better than doing nothing at all.
And lastly, above all, tell your customers what you are doing….even ask them for ideas too and get them involved.