ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

Last Reviewed: 21.10.21

 

1.     Mission Statement

 

From day one our founders Mark and Tommi have always tried to prove you can create a truly sustainable, multisite restaurant business, even whilst growing. From being the UK’s first carbon neutral restaurant business in 2016, to being one of the first restaurant chains to introduce a zero waste to landfill policy and waste segregation back in 2011. We will continue striving to be better and better, always asking ourselves “how can we do this even more sustainably”.

 

We believe that we have a responsibility to the environment beyond legal and regulatory requirements. As a sustainable business, we are committed to reducing our environmental impact on the planet and continually improving our environmental performance as an integral part of our business strategy and operating methods.

 

To do this we have to work with like minded souls, whether employees, suppliers or even our customers, we need to have you on board with our charter and excited about what we can do together.

 

2.     Responsibility

 

Carolyn Lum is responsible for ensuring that the environmental policy is updated and implemented.  However, all employees, stakeholders and suppliers have a responsibility in their area to ensure that the aims and objectives of the policy are met.

 

3.     Policy Aims

 

We aim to:

  • Comply with and exceed all relevant regulatory requirements.
  • Continually improve and monitor environmental performance.
  • Continually improve and reduce environmental impacts.
  • Incorporate environmental factors into business decisions.
  • Increase employee awareness and training.

 

4.     Sourcing

 

We aim to source local, sustainable and ethical food products for our customers.

 

Sustainable seafood sourcing

  • We will be compliant with our MSC licence agreement and seek to source purely MSC products when available.
  • We will only source fish that are Rated 1-3 by the Marine Conservation Society.
  • We will only source our seafood from reputable suppliers who have rigorous modern slavery policies and checks.

 

Ethical Meat and Dairy

The standards we require for our meat supply are:

  • Pork must be British free range.
  • Chicken must be free range.
  • Beef must be British farm assured and predominantly grass fed.
  • We choose to serve only organic milk.
  • All dairy should be British (The only exclusions may be Protected Denomination of Origin products i.e Feta, Parmesan).
  • All eggs and third-party products containing egg, shall only use free range eggs.
  • We commit that all soya used as animal feed in the supply chain is certified sustainable according to a recognised certification scheme such as the Responsible Soy(RTRS), ProTerra or equivalent by the end of 2023.
  • We will introduce mechanisms to monitor the provenance and volume of soya sourced as animal feed in the supply chain by the end of 2023.

 

Direct sourcing

  • Only fair trade or direct trade tea and coffee to be used (otherwise must be approved to be equivalent by the SRA).
  • From our suppliers we require fair trade sugar.
  • Where possible, our preference is to source our produce from within the UK.
  • We aim to be palm oil free by 2024, in the meantime, we will ensure that any products that contain palm oil have the relevant RSPO certification to ensure it is sustainably sourced.
  • We source our avocados from reputable sources, currently Westfalia, who hold GlobalGap, LEAF certification and have strong sustainability principles.

 

5.     Menu Development

 

  • We will continue to innovate delicious and vibrant vegetarian dishes and commit to keeping the menu at 50% vegetarian dishes.
  • We will look at alternatives to meat, and continue to follow the principle of less, but better quality meat.
  • Our focus is on delicious vegetarian dishes from whole foods, not processed meat substitutes.
  • We offer vegan alternatives to dairy.
  • We have calculated the carbon count of our top selling dishes and we are looking at how we can reduce the environmental impact of our menu.

 

6.     Carbon Neutral

 

Since 2016 we have achieved CarbonNeutral® company certification in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol working in conjunction with Natural capital partners.

We commit to reducing our carbon outputs 15% from 2021 – 2024, in line with Science based targets with the goal to reach net zero by 2025 in line with the Net Zero Now protocol.

We aim to find and support progressive carbon sinking and soil regeneration projects based in the UK. We continually monitor our carbon footprint and are always looking for ways this can be reduced.

7.     Waste

 

  • We will only use ‘zero to landfill’ waste collectors.
  • All waste will be segregated into: General, glass, card, food and mixed recycling to maximise recycling. With a target recycling rate of 80% which will be monitored on a monthly basis and shared with individual restaurants.
  • All used cooking oil is recycled and we have committed to reducing our oil usage by 33%, by investing in oil filtration kit by the end of 2021.
  • We will minimise the use of paper in our operations.
  • We will monitor and reduce the amount of food waste produced. We will engage with our suppliers about packaging to try and reduce the amount of packaging used.
  • We have transitioned in 2021 to resurfacing chopping boards to reduce plastic waste.
  • We will train our teams on plastic reduction within the business.
  • We request suppliers use materials that are biodegradable (non-plastic based) or recyclable.
  • Waste No Food: We offer diners compostable ‘doggy boxes’ to help reduce food waste,
  • By focussing on smaller plates and portions we feel our food waste is already minimal but we continue to ensure that this is at the forefront of our new development of dishes, ensuring that every part of the dish is there to be eaten.
  • We will register our company every year with a compliance scheme partner before the 1st of February for the current year (currently Valpak).
  • We will submit a detailed account of how much waste we’ve handled before the 1st of February each year to our compliance scheme partner.
  • We will buy PRNs (Packaging waste recovery notes) via our compliance scheme partner to fulfil our packaging waste obligations.

 

 

8.     Energy, Water and natural resources

 

  • From April 2021 all energy contracts within our control will be sourced from 100% renewable electricity and gas.
  • Since 2011 all restaurants use LED lighting and sensors to reduce the use of resources.
  • Lights and electrical equipment will be switched off when not in use.
  • Heating will be adjusted with energy consumption in mind.
  • The energy consumption and efficiency of new products will be taken into account when purchasing.
  • We will aim to reduce the amount of energy used by tracking energy usage on a monthly basis.
  • We use water efficient dishwashers.
  • We have an eco water purification system and offer free filtered water to all diners, our bottled water comes from a charitable water company.
  • We use recycled paper and Forest Stewardship Council certified printers for menus, printer paper, blue roll and toilet paper.
  • As of August 2021 over 90% of our take away packaging, is home compostable (predominantly bagasse) or recyclable, we aim to retain this 90% as our minimum standard.
  • From April 2021 we have promoted a team of sustainability champions across all restaurants to drive the sustainability agenda and encourage behavioural change to reduce our energy and resource consumption at site level.

 

9.     Transportation

 

  • We will reduce the need to travel, restricting to necessity trips only.
  • We have reduced the need to travel with technology such as sharepoint, e-mails and video/phone conferencing.
  • We consolidate produce through a third party distributor to reduce individual journeys.

 

10.  Maintenance and Cleaning

 

  • When we are building a new site we have a “SKA Retail” environmental assessment, SKA helps us identify where we can reuse materials, specify materials with high recycled content, install energy efficient equipment, use low voc paints and ensure that all timber is certified as sustainable. Our newly built restaurants have been rated with a Gold SKA rating.
  • For every new restaurant, we aspire to achieve SKA Gold.
  • The core cleaning products we source will be environmentally friendly.
  • We will only use contractors who are F gas compliant for refrigeration maintenance.
  • Materials used in new restaurant fit outs and refurbishments will be compliant with SKA gold criteria.

 

11.  Monitoring and Improvement

 

  • We will comply with and exceed all relevant regulatory requirements.
  • We will continually improve and monitor environmental performance.
  • We will incorporate environmental factors into business decisions.
  • We will increase employee awareness through team member training and reinforcing the messages contained in the Green Charter.
  • We will review this policy and any related business issues at our quarterly management meetings.

 

12.  Culture

 

  • We ensure that we pay all our team members at least the National Living wage (currently £8.91) or above, irrespective of how old they are. Our lowest hourly wage is currently £9.42 (plus tronc)
  • We offer each team member a free meal and coffee per shift.
  • We have a Tronc system, with an independent Tronc Master, which ensures that all tips and service charges are distributed fairly among team members.
  • We educate our employees on the provenance and quality of the produce and products we purchase through our online training portal ‘flow’ and through the Orgulluso bible. We test them on the sourcing and preparation of menu items during menu changes.
  • We will involve teams in the implementation of this policy, for greater commitment and improved performance.
  • We will provide teams with sustainability training to inspire and drive behavioural change.
  • We will work with suppliers, contractors and sub-contractors to improve their environmental performance.
  • We will run quarterly staff surveys to gage staff happiness. Their feed back is reviewed and actioned by the Board to ensure our teams are happy and engaged.
  • We have invested in training key managers on Mental health awareness and helping their teams and have invested in a Wellness platform for all of our teams.
  • We will review update this policy at least once annually in consultation with team members and other stakeholders where necessary.

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