The future is green for trade businesses

City venue’s efficient measures have seen lower bills and higher satisfaction

The business is trial running operation without the use of blue roll in a bid to reduce reduce waste

SCOTLAND is preparing to be in the spotlight as it gears up to host the UN Climate Change conference in Glasgow at the end of the year.

And with recent reports showing countries around the globe experienced the highest January temperatures since records began, there has never been a better time to review sustainable practices in businesses across the trade.

One outlet doing just that is the Tiki Bar & Kitsch Inn in Glasgow, which is pulling out all the stops to be a ‘greener’ venue.

Ian Sanderson, operations manager at Tiki Bar & Kitsch Inn and sister venue Bowlarama, described the venue as a “modern and forward-thinking business” which has adopted a raft of strategies to be more sustainable.

Ian said: “Our strategies include working in partnership with (waste management company) NWH Group to facilitate the recycling of our waste by sorting dry mixed recycling and glass recycling to minimise the volume of refuse headed for landfill.”

The high volumes of plastic waste packaging was a constant bugbear for the Tiki Bar team.

Ian said: “Drinks packaging in its entirety contributes to serious environmental issues. We therefore incentivise our guests to choose both draught soft drinks and beers by adjusting our margins to accommodate this.

“The proprietor of the business also introduced an incentive scheme to promote our bid to become a greener company by issuing high-street vouchers for both novel ideas and problem solving.

“This helped us identify a need for change in our packaging of food for takeaway. With between 120,000 and 150,000 drinks sold per annum we introduced the use of biodegradable straws to not only reduce the amount of disposable plastics but to avoid any further contribution to plastic debris within our oceans.

The firm believes that the hospitality industry is one of the worst contributors to energy efficiency.

“We are currently trial running operation without the use of blue roll as a cleaning material as we currently use in excess of 1250 rolls per year. Instead we are using a range of coloured cloths that are washed daily.

“Once our trial period has concluded we will review our findings and take action accordingly. However, the results so far are extremely promising.”

Food waste is next on the agenda for the venue.

“One issue we have identified and will be addressing over the next month is a viable solution for our food waste,” said Ian. 

“One issue we have identified and will be addressing over the next month is a viable solution for our food waste,” said Ian. 

“We are currently researching commercial composting methods to allow us to grow mint plants in a vertical garden within our outside terrace – both reducing our expenditure and minimising our carbon footprint in business deliveries.”

The push for the business to go green is not just coming from the top, as Ian said all staff members are on board with the changes.

“Our staff are passionate too: our gas is turned off in the kitchen when not required; our kitchen utilises push tap fittings to minimise our water usage; all of our lighting has been replaced with low-energy and efficient LED lighting; we have timers on our beer fridges to turn them off on out of business hours; and, as part of our venue closing procedure, all non-essential equipment is turned off.

“We have achieved success in our green initiatives by promoting input from our entire team and by breaking down responsibilities and sharing them equally. This helps reduce any negative connotations such as large-scale changes and staff-related friction towards new policies which can both cause serious issues to a small business.”

Training is a crucial factor for keeping staff up to speed with current practices; it also allows employees the chance to vocalise any concerns or ideas for improvement they may have, according to Ian.

“We support our initiatives by training our staff to not only follow our guidelines but to also identify any issues that may cause concern and we welcome our teams input on how may we may improve our green initiatives in the future. This led to the research and implementation of a vacuum packaging system to prolong the life of our fresh-bought produce.”

The measures put in place by the team at Tiki Bar are paying off as they have seen both a rise in customer satisfaction and lower bills as a result.

“The impact to the organisation has been broadly beneficial with reduced energy bills and unexpected positive PR,” said Ian. 

“We posted about our change of straws to a biodegradable alternative on our social networking platforms and we were met with significant praise, which in turn allowed us to deliver our business messages to a wider audience.”

According to Ian, the positive steps taken to be a greener business were spurred on by the impact the hospitality industry has on the environment.

He said: “It is our firm belief that the hospitality industry is one of the worst contributors to energy efficiency and sustainability.

“The more we can all talk about the impact a few small changes can make the more likely businesses will adopt policies to aid in sustainability and energy efficiency.”