SUSTAINABILITY CHARTER. May R&CA Sustainability Charter V1

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1 SUSTAINABILITY CHARTER May R&CA Sustainability Charter V1

2 Introduction By their very nature, restaurant and catering businesses are significant users of energy, water and raw materials. Cooking equipment, refrigeration, product delivery, airconditioning, heating and lighting all use significant amounts of fuel and power. Water is essential for drinking, cleaning, food preparation and washing. Considerable waste is created during every meal service from excess food, packaging, broken items, left-overs and waste from preparation. To provide some idea, it is estimated that medium-sized food service business: use an average of 2200Kl water at an annual cost of $2,300; use an average of 234MWh of electricity at an annual cost of $26,000; and create 1500kL of trade waste at an annual cost of $2,400. Further, it is estimated that almost 90% of waste in restaurant and caterers bins is potentially recyclable, reusable or compostable and almost 25% of this waste is food. The scale of consumption and waste is also compounded by long operating hours, some businesses being open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and food that requires constant storage and refrigeration. Integral to the Restaurant and Catering Association (R&CA) Sustainability Program will be the commitment of R&CA to support restaurant, catering and cafe businesses explore the many ways they can do more with less; use fewer resources to save their business money, help the environment, support their community and make more money all at the same time. It s not just about helping to create a sustainable environment; it s also about maintaining a sustainable business and a sustainable society. Underpinning R&CA s commitment to sustainability is the development of a Sustainability Charter to set the objectives to improve the sector s environmental performance and provide an ideal vehicle to develop a sustainability roadmap. The Charter clearly and succinctly provides the overall direction required for advancing sustainability. It states what sustainability means to the industry, with overarching objectives covering the issues on the sustainability agenda that are significant to the sector. The Charter will provide the platform for a management plan that reflects R&CA s awareness and concern for the environment and guide R&CA s decision making over the coming years. Why is sustainability important now? Being sustainable means taking into account the impact that businesses have on the environment and the communities in which they operates. By paying attention to the social and environmental bottom line, restaurants, caterers and cafes can run their business in a more efficient and effective way. This can have a positive impact on their financial bottom line and it makes good business sense. 2 R&CA Sustainability Charter V1

3 It also requires an understanding of: the drivers that are creating an increasing demand for sustainable/or environmentally-friendly practices for restaurant and catering businesses; how to gain a competitive advantage by making real environmental and financial savings - for restaurant and catering businesses this means providing an efficient service to customers while using less energy, less water and producing less waste - on average we should aim to reduce businesses energy consumption by a fifth, water use by a third, and waste by almost half. These achievements can save thousands of dollars a year and hundreds of tonnes of greenhouse gases for each business; the benefits to customers and stakeholders whilst working to achieve a balance between responsible environmental sustainability and economic success. By reducing the impact that restaurant and catering businesses have on the environment can save them money and increase their bottom line; and how to promote changes to the way restaurant and catering businesses think and operate so they can o Reduce their operating costs through the implementation of green initiatives; o Create a point of difference from competitors and attract new customers; o Keep ahead of impending government legislation; o Improve staff morale, customer satisfaction and contribute to a healthier world; o Reduce a business carbon footprint; o Measure, plan and implement to reduce energy, water, waste and materials; o Enhance product quality and productivity; o Improve financial performance; and o Improve staff morale. Sustainability - a definition to direct R&CA activity Sustainability is defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability is simply ensuring that economic, environmental and social developments go hand in hand. The Restaurant and Catering Association, has recognised the importance of these influencing factors on restaurant, catering and cafe businesses and the growing market opportunities for them. It is developing an appropriate Sustainability Program to improve their sustainability practices by covering the issues on the sustainability agenda that are significant to this country and helping restaurant and catering businesses to be better equipped and trained to take advantage of these new business opportunities. In order for R&CA to generate focused and meaningful sustainability outcomes, we have established an agreed definition to underpin our activities. 3 R&CA Sustainability Charter V1

4 Environmental sustainability requires the design and provision of products and services that incorporate and promote waste minimisation and the efficient and effective use and reuse of resources. Purpose of the Sustainability Charter The Sustainability Charter is critical because it carries the potential to create an opportunity for education on the concept and importance of sustainability. Further the Charter will also provide clear direction to government, the industry and the community concerning R&CA s desired future and facilitate coordinated, collective ways of achieving it. The Charter underpins R&CA s commitment in enhancing its capacity to: effect large-scale, industry-wide environmental management and change; provide an industry-specific framework to assist businesses develop relevant environmentally sustainable practices; educate businesses on practical ideas for minimising waste, conserving energy and water, purchasing wisely and reducing their carbon footprint ; highlight the costs and demonstrate the benefits associated with environmentally sustainable practices; show that action can range from simple, immediate and inexpensive measures to more complex, longer term and investment intensive options; and develop a recognised and respected green brand that consumers can identify with Priority Areas R&CA s aim is to improve the sustainability of Queensland restaurant, catering and cafe businesses both in an environmental and financial capacity. R&CA s Sustainability Program will provide expertise, training and a network of businesses working towards sustainability aimed at managing environmental risk, using resources more efficiently, integrating environmental strategies with business planning and, enhancing customer and community relationships in achieving higher levels of environmental performance and sustainability. The program will aim to make sense of sustainability, pinpoint how business can benefit and provide a clear path for action. The Charter will be used as a platform by R&CA to advance tangible sustainability outcomes through self-initiated strategies, tactics and tools, under the guidance of R&CA to ensure restaurant and catering businesses are able to meet minimum requirements relative to water and energy conservation, waste management and recycling i.e. - why saving water, saving energy and producing less solid and liquid waste is important for their business and the environment The Sustainability Charter aims to encourage business to effectively: Conserve water i.e. reduce a business s water charges, trade waste charges and energy costs for heating water. 4 R&CA Sustainability Charter V1

5 Reduce energy consumption i.e. to reduce operating costs and help to save valuable natural resources for generations to come and protect the environment from harmful greenhouse gases. Reduce waste i.e. save money on raw materials, supply costs and disposal costs and it may even provide another source of revenue. Waste reduction also helps to ensure a cleaner environment and a more sustainable economy for the future. Bring it together with an environmental management system i.e. making an objective assessment of restaurant, catering and cafes businesses environmental impact and what businesses can do to address it. 5 R&CA Sustainability Charter V1

6 Priority Area 1 Conserving water to reduce a business s water charges, trade waste charges and energy costs for heating water Australia will continue to face water shortages through droughts from time to time and some predict water shortages will worsen over coming decades. Irrespective of these predictions, the costs of water have risen dramatically over recent years and all agree the costs will continue to rise for a range of reasons including lack of infrastructure and greater demand through rising population. However, there are steps everyone can take to be more efficient and use less water to lessen the problem, while also maintaining business operations. Restaurant, catering and cafes businesses need water for drinking, cleaning, food preparation, amenities, washing and irrigation. A medium size food service business uses 2200 kl of water annually at a cost of $2,300 Reducing their water consumption will not just reduce the purchase costs for water. Saving water also reduces heating costs and wastewater charges. While the costs of purchasing 1000 L (1kL) of water for a Brisbane food service business may be around 1.13 $/kl, the true cost of purchase, use and disposal may be a lot more. Water Supply Cost - $1.13/kL Heating Water to 60oC Costs (electric) - $8.37/kL Trade Waste Disposal Costs - $0.83/kL Before businesses can better manage their water use, they need to understand it. Doing so requires some life-cycle thinking to look at all their direct and indirect water using activities. This will include: Calculating their baseline use that is, the total amount of water a business consumes. Tracking variables such as seasonal differences, downtime or holidays, changes in employee numbers, number of customers, or differences in work undertaken. Identifying equipment and activities that use water. Measuring the total water used in producing a good or service. Water saving strategies for restaurant, catering and cafes businesses will involve four key elements: the use of water efficient appliances and fittings the capturing and reuse of waste water maintaining equipment at maximum operational efficiency educating and raising awareness about the need to minimise water use 6 R&CA Sustainability Charter V1

7 Priority Area 2 Reducing business energy consumption to reduce operating costs and help to save valuable natural resources for generations to come and protect the environment from harmful greenhouse gases Reducing a business energy consumption will not only reduce their operating costs but will also help to save valuable natural resources for generations to come and protect the environment. Australia is one of the highest producers of greenhouse gas emissions per capita! It is estimated that 20% of the energy used in Australia is wasted that s around $7 billion worth Restaurant, catering and cafes businesses need energy for heating, air-conditioning and ventilation, cooking, refrigeration and lighting. A typical small to medium size food service business uses an average of 234MWh of electricity per year about the same as 36 Queensland households. This costs each of the operators an average of $26,000 per year For restaurant, catering and cafes businesses that seek greater efficiency in their existing processes and who want to improve their environmental performance the Sustainability Program will support them to identify the quickest and most cost-effective solutions to reduce unnecessary energy use, save money and reduce emissions by examining their; Lighting Cooking Appliances Refrigeration Air Conditioning/ Heating Ventilation Hot Water Use Another great potential area of activity to reduce overall energy use that some businesses have embarked on is the buy local, use seasonal push. This involves development of local partnerships with suppliers in order to minimise the effect of high transportation and storage costs on the business and suppliers. If the carbon tax is extended to the transport industry, the correlating benefits to the industry by adopting this approach could be significant. 7 R&CA Sustainability Charter V1

8 Priority Area 3 Reducing waste - Effective waste minimisation involves preventing the creation of waste in the first place. Restaurant, catering and cafe businesses generate a large volume of packaging and food waste. What is thrown away is a good indicator of how efficient a business is. If a lot of waste is created frequently, then a business is not operating as efficiently as it could. Reducing waste and recycling more will save business money. What is paid for in waste disposal and landfill represents a small percentage of the total cost of producing waste. The hidden waste costs include: lost opportunities to convert waste materials into valuable finished products; the cost of resources, like energy, that go into the processes that created the waste; the costs of clean-up, storage and waste treatment before disposal; employee time spent on unproductive waste management work. By reducing waste, businesses can save money on raw materials, supply costs and disposal costs and it may even provide another source of revenue. Waste reduction also helps to ensure a cleaner environment and a more sustainable economy for the future. The Sustainability Program will support them to identify solid waste issues and opportunities and action for reducing costs in the areas of: Waste Reduction; Purchasing; Waste Recovery; Waste Segregation; Waste Reuse; Waste Recycling; Solid Waste; Organic Waste; Waste Disposal In addition food service outlets generate liquid waste from cooking, washing and airconditioning. Trade waste is any liquid waste produced by a business that is approved for disposal to the sewer. It does not include domestic sewage. Reducing the volume and strength of wastewater being discharged from a business will help to reduce trade waste disposal costs and minimise the disposal of valuable raw materials, such as water and oil, to the sewer An average small to medium size food service business generates 1500 kl of trade waste each year at a cost of $2,400 across south-east Queensland 8 R&CA Sustainability Charter V1

9 Priority Area 4 Bringing it together with an environmental action plan - an objective assessment of restaurant, catering and cafes businesses environmental impact and what businesses can do to address these issues now and into the future. Managing the environmental impact of restaurant and catering businesses in a proactive way can have benefits for their bottom line. R&CA will assist them to understand and implement sustainable practices and boost their environmental performance. They will work with the Sustainability Program to: Promote sustainability as a core business value and integrate environmental strategies with business planning; Improve environmental risk management strategies; Use resources more efficiently to drive down costs and boost competitiveness; Reduce costs and improve environmental performance of their products and services; Enhance customer and community relationships; and Engage and train staff in sustainability issues. This will focus on environmental action plans that documents and systemises a business approach to managing its environmental impact. This will include strategies for: Gaining Operator/Owner commitment i.e. committing to understanding the environmental impact of their business and for someone to be given the time and authority to start the process. Reviewing their environmental impact i.e. undertaking baseline assessments looking at operations, products and/or services to identify the energy, water, waste, and other impacts associated with their business to enable them to assess the level of overall environmental impact and risk and therefore determine the level of sophistication needed in their environmental action plans, as well as priorities for environmental improvement. Establishing key performance indicators (KPIs)- i.e. establishing a set of KPIs so their business can measure and monitor its environmental impact e.g. indicators may be energy, water and waste per 1000 meals served. Documenting commitment i.e. reducing the environmental impact of their business and how this can be communicated to employees, customers, suppliers and others. Employee engagement/training- i.e. considering appropriate training/approaches to make them aware of their actions and their role in it. Baseline assessment and indicators will provide ideas for where improvements can be made. Documenting the ideas and then assessing which are able to be done in the short, medium or long term will provide a checklist that can then be regularly reviewed, progress checked and, where necessary, have new ideas added. 9 R&CA Sustainability Charter V1

10 Key Objectives By subscribing to the program restaurant and catering businesses will gain the knowledge, the skills, and the confidence to effectively manage waste, conserve water and energy. The Charter will provide the bases for R&CA to assist restaurant and catering businesses to understand and implement sustainable practices throughout the industry and to boost their environmental performance. Individual business will work with the Sustainability program to; 1. Making a commitment to addressing sustainability - preparing sustainability policy and completing a check of practices - this should include existing and potential environmental and social impacts relative to the location, sensitivity of the local environment and the nature and scale of services provided 2. Measuring a Businesses Carbon Footprint - measuring and benchmarking data and information to assess their environmental and social footprint collecting and benchmarking data and information to provide an understanding of environmental performance. 3. Developing Action Plans - using the results available from benchmarking to determine areas where improvement is needed and preparing a Sustainability Action Plan - this could include behaviour change, process change, introduced technologies. 4. Implementing Change - engaging with staff through capacity building programs and suppliers through green purchasing to reduce and offset. 5. Achieving verification through a recognised and reputable program establishing a recognised environmental and certification program designed for the restaurant and catering industry. 6. Evaluation, Monitoring and Marketing - Evaluating successes and challenges; sharing best practice and celebrating achievements 10 R&CA Sustainability Charter V1

11 Performance Monitoring, Reporting and Review Given the Sustainability Charter will focuses on long-term sustainability goals it will be reviewed every 2 years to ensure that it reflects new issues, developments and opportunities for the practice and demonstration of environmental sustainability within the Restaurant and Catering industry. It will be used to develop initiatives and targets that respond to and support the objectives set out in this Charter. The results, over time, will provide important information about how we can continually improve our environmental sustainability practices. This will need to focus on identifying and quantifying savings for business. This will include savings made by implementing better house-keeping practices for zero or minimal costs. Environmental metrics that will be used to monitor participant sustainability in energy, water and waste will include; Energy MJ Water kl Recycled Waste m3 11 R&CA Sustainability Charter V1

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