The UK’s hospitality sector is committed to reaching net zero by 2040 but government partnership with the sector is central to achieving the target, UKHospitality has said in its response to the government’s Net Zero Review. UKHospitality’s submission said that businesses across the sector were committed to prioritising sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint but due to the ongoing cost of doing business crisis, additional financial incentives would be required to help speed up the transition to net zero.
The response included a number of examples, including: Introducing targeted measures to incentivise the investment in sustainability through grants, loans or tax credits. For example, reintroducing the Enhanced Capital Allowances scheme for energy and water-efficient plant and machinery that ceased in March 2020. Tax relief for businesses replacing major equipment, due to the importance of replacing old equipment with newer, more energy efficient equipment as early as possible. Government support to upskill businesses, particularly SMEs, with practical steps on how they can reduce their carbon footprint and aid the transition to net zero.
Through the launch of its Environmental Sustainability Guide for its members and its own Sustainability Commitment, UKHospitality is playing a leading role in providing bespoke advice and guidance to hospitality businesses. UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Working towards our sustainability goals is an absolute priority for the hospitality sector and there has been a huge amount of work that has already gone into this by hospitality businesses. “Unfortunately the situation for many businesses now is that, due to the energy crisis, they are fighting to survive the winter. That does mean that cashflow is tight and confidence to invest is being quickly eroded.
“This reality does mean that the sector would really benefit from a partnership with government to aid its transition to net zero, through financial incentives such as grants or tax credits that can allow businesses to replace equipment with greener alternatives or take part in training to boost our net zero knowledge.“Hospitality is already one of the sector’s leading the way in its sustainability work, with fantastic examples of businesses going above and beyond, and it’s so important that we work together with the government to make sure we can continue on that path.”