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Greene King claims first with zero waste target

Greene King is claiming a pub industry first by setting a target of sending zero waste to landfill by 2020.

The pub retailer and brewer said the target formed part of its partnership with waste management company SWR, through which it has pledged to reduce landfill waste across its entire managed estate.

One year on from the launch of the partnership in April 2016, Greene King said it had achieved a 95% diversion away from landfill rate thanks to a number of initiatives across its managed pubs. These include a waste recycling backhaul scheme, where pub teams separate waste on site into dedicated bins for food, cardboard, glass and other materials, which is returned via its dedicated food distribution network.

The company is also working with WRAP to run a best practice training programme for area managers, and work with supply chain partners to improve packaging and portion control.

Greene King said it had increased its recycle rate from 49% to 70% in the past year, saving 3,950,581 tonnes of CO2, while almost 8,000 tonnes of food have been diverted from landfill across the entire estate.

The brewer has also signed up to the Courtauld 2025 commitment one of whose aims is to achieve a 20% reduction in food and drink waste arising in the UK by 2025.

“We’re really pleased to announce our goal of zero waste to landfill by 2020 and the progress made so far towards it,” said Matt Todd, group trading director at Greene King. “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.”