UK community pub group Admiral Taverns is launching its sustainability roadmap with news of £1 million in energy saving initiatives across its estate. The Group has announced a five-year plan, aiming to reduce carbon emissions across all areas of its business.
£1 million over five years is a positive start but sustainability strategies are about more than just energy. The roadmap suggests the Group also plans to reduce water and waste, factor in social issues and address its supply chain.
The roadmap’s launch highlights the increasing importance of consumer facing companies taking sustainability actions. At the same time, however, the focus on energy efficiency highlights the challenges the pub industry is facing. Energy costs for many tenanted pubs are now higher than rent, presenting a real crisis for the short and medium term future of the industry.
At the end of August 2022, Admiral was one of six leading UK chains to publish an open letter asking for government support, warning that ‘that pub and brewing businesses across the UK are at risk of closure due to out of control energy bills, with upwards of 300% price hikes reported.”
Action on energy helps address the cost of living crisis
The initial £1 million investment will target over 450 of Admiral’s least energy efficient pubs with energy saving initiatives to help licensees combat rising energy costs in their community.
Admiral has identified cellar management systems and fridge managers as two of the most effective measures to help preserve energy, with the potential to save 1,586 tonnes of carbon per year. The new systems will be installed in partnership with Technik2, a leading supplier within the industry.
The initial investment comes when the cost of living is at an all-time high, and many pubs face more than a 300% increase in energy bills. Cellar managers can save approximately 30% of energy needed to cool cellars, while fridge managers can save 33% of the energy used to power bottle fridges.
Both will be instrumental in helping the Group’s pubs reduce their energy costs and carbon footprint, supporting their sustainability as a hub for their communities. Admiral Taverns is already helping licensees reduce energy costs by installing LED lights where appropriate and working with energy brokers to provide quotes and general advice.
Andrew Hallam, Head of Property at Admiral Taverns said: “We’re proud to launch our sustainability roadmap and are committed to making sure sustainability is at the core what we do.”
He continued, “Sustainability is of the upmost importance to us and over the next five years, our future areas of focus will include water, waste, product sourcing and the community. We are working with energy expert, Hospitality Energy Saving and Sustainability, to ensure our sustainability plans offer the highest decrease in energy costs. Reducing our environmental impact is key to the long-term sustainability of Admiral’s business.”
Sustainability and long term investment horizons
The Group’s long term sustainability plan is based around five core pillars; Energy and Water, Buildings, Packaging and Waste, Product Sourcing and People, Social and Community. This shows Admiral’s understanding of the interconnected nature of resource, energy and waste management with the climate and nature crisis.
It’s important to point out, however, that the Group is planning on spending £1 million over the next five years. This would take us to 2027 – three years before the Sustainable Development Goals are supposed to be achieved and three years before the Paris Agreement says we need to have reduced emissions by at least 45%.
Admiral’s roadmap is a good start for the basis of some long term strategic thinking, but there is still some way to go. As the market is shifting, the industry is going to need to address some significant impacts. Recently FC Industries, a major CO2 producer (a core ingredient of beer) announced that it was ceasing its production of what it calls a ‘critical component’ of beer due to market conditions.
What the announcement does do, however, is confirm that the interconnectedness of the economy – highlighted by the government’s failure to address UK energy challenges over the last 20 years – has been a significant contributor to the current energy crisis.