Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King sets 2020 zero waste to landfill target

Greene King has diverted nearly 8,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill under an initiative launche

Greene King has diverted nearly 8,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill under an initiative launched last year. - Credit: Archant

Pubs and brewing group Greene King is claiming an industry “first”, by setting a new target of sending zero waste to landfill by 2020.

The declaration follows on from a partnership between Bury St Edmunds-based Greene King and waste management company SWR which was launched in April last year with the aim of reducing landfill across the group’s entire managed pub estate.

Since then, 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.

As a result, the group has achieved a 95% switch away from landfill. 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 recycling 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 an entire 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 £87.1bn in 2016 to £94.1bn in 2019, it is set to become more and more pressing.

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“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 WRAP, a world leader in resource efficiency, to take its waste strategy even further by implementing two key waste engagement projects.

The first involves 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.

Greene King’s managed estate consists of around 1,800 pubs and restaurants, including brands such as Hungry Horse, Farmhouse Inns, Chef & Brewer and Flaming Grill.