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UK hospitality businesses step up sustainability efforts following COP26

Almost three-quarters of UK hospitality businesses cited COP26 as the driving factor behind their improved sustainable initiatives this year, according to a Nespresso Professional survey

The most common action taken by hospitality businesses since COP26 was to enhance recycling measures | Photo credit: Endlich Grün


The majority of UK hospitality businesses have made sustainability a higher priority in 2022, with 84% having undertaken at least one action to improve their environmental impact since the international COP26 climate summit in November 2021, according to a Nespresso Professional study. 

The poll of 1,000 UK industry leaders found the most common action taken by businesses since the conference is enhanced recycling measures, or, in some cases, the introduction of a recycling system for the first time.  

More than a quarter of hospitality businesses in the UK have also begun implementing a business-wide sustainability strategy and 58% are targeting B Corp certification

Although 72% intend to further prioritise environmental sustainability in the coming year, most respondents expressed increased concern at rising product prices, especially products marketed as being more sustainable. 

“It is really encouraging to see the continual uptake and engagement with sustainability initiatives across the hospitality industry, and while it’s clear that businesses are facing considerable challenges, leaders within the sector are determined to do the right thing,” said Beth Langley, Commercial Director B2B, Nespresso UK.  

The Nespresso Professional findings reflect the broader return of sustainability to the hospitality agenda following the interruption of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

A poll conducted by World Coffee Portal and UK Coffee Week in October 2021 found 69% of industry leaders surveyed believed the sustainability of coffee supply chains was an important factor when making a coffee shop purchase.  

However, highlighting the commercial dilemma for many operators when introducing sustainability initiatives, 54% of industry leaders surveyed agreed that doing so comes at the expense of profits.

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