FootprintComment: What price for energy efficiency?

GRAM UK’s Glenn Roberts outlines the findings of the company’s 2012 survey.

Foodservice Footprint gram-green FootprintComment: What price for energy efficiency? Comment Foodservice News and Information  Gram UK Gram Green Paper Glenn Roberts FootprintChannel










“THE GREEN Paper 2012 revealed that in 2010, 64% of respondents wanted to be greener, but in 2012 that figure has increased to 78%. However, the number of respondents actually practising green initiatives has dropped since the 89% in 2010, to 77% in 2012. One of the key explanations for this is that the cheap, easy-fix actions such as recycling have already been implemented, and larger investments are now required in order to build on these green policies. With financial limitations taking their toll on many channels within the foodservice industry, particularly pubs, it is little surprise that there is a reluctance to enforce these large investments in green initiatives.


That’s not to say, however, that operators aren’t aware of the potential savings. When asked what would have the greatest impact on cost saving to their business, ‘buying new low energy equipment such as refrigeration’ was the most popular answer.


Another encouraging result, revealing an awareness of energy efficiency benefits, is that only 6% of respondents would choose ‘a unit priced cheaply but with high running cost in terms of energy’ when purchasing capital equipment. In addition to this, the option with the highest support was ‘a unit with lower running costs and therefore more energy efficient but with a higher purchase price’.


What The Green Paper 2012 has revealed is that operators are aware that benefits from the cost of ownership will outweigh the cost of purchase, but they are simply unable to afford the initial investment. Having said that, the willingness of respondents to become greener, coupled with their awareness of the financial benefits of installing energy efficient equipment would indicate that as the economic situation begins to improve, so too will the uptake of such initiatives.


Ultimately, it is true the first component for operators to consider when looking to save on both economically and environmentally is the equipment they have in place. The most effective means of communicating this is by emphasising the cost of purchase versus the cost of ownership. While energy efficient equipment does typically represent a larger initial cost, compared to that of less efficient products, this investment will ultimately pay dividends; reimbursing the financial cost through the reduction of energy usage.


As of January 2014, the Ecodesign Directive will require that all refrigeration traded within the EU meets with stringent energy efficient standards, with this legislation soon to impact on a wider range of kitchen equipment. This means that whether operators are looking to invest in green policies or not, they will soon have no choice when it comes to making purchasing decisions on new kitchen equipment.


However, it is an investment from which they will soon reap financial rewards and if the low awareness of Government incentives, as indicated by The Green Paper 2012 is rectified, this may soften the blow of these higher payments.”


Glenn Roberts is managing director at Gram UK.