Hospitality Case Study

Hospitality Case Study

James Hopkins

Founder: The Cocktail Club

For a hospitality business, analysing the carbon footprint of your menu and supply chains is the next major challenge. Join James Hopkins as he explores the carbon footprint of a cocktail.

For a hospitality business, analysing the carbon footprint of your menu and supply chains is the next major challenge. Join James Hopkins as he explores the carbon footprint of a cocktail.

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Hospitality Case Study

6 mins 50 secs

Overview

The Sustainable Restaurant Association reports that the hospitality sector is responsible for 15% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions so it’s vital for businesses to take action where they can. Dissecting the menu and supply chain is the next challenge. For a bar operator, that means breaking down each drink and each ingredient and going back to its source. For example, a single gin and tonic produces approximately 246 grams of carbon dioxide. Savings can be made with small ingredients adjustments, using alternative packaging for deliveries and switching to energy-efficient refrigeration systems.

Key learning objectives:

  • Understand the carbon footprint of a single cocktail

  • Identify where you can make carbon savings in a bar

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Summary
What would the carbon footprint of a single cocktail look like? 

The Margarita cocktail is one of the most popular drinks worldwide. To determine the carbon footprint of a Margarita, we must first analyse the carbon footprint of each ingredient. According to data from My Emissions and uSwitch, the carbon footprint of the ingredients is: 

  • 40 ml of tequila (14g of CO2 emissions) 
  • 20 ml of lime juice (13g CO2 emissions)
  • 20 ml of triple sec (50g CO2 emissions)
  •  Lime wedge (21g CO2 emissions)

This makes the carbon footprint of a single Margarita cocktail approximately 198g of CO2. To put this into perspective, the UK average CO2 emissions per car is 221.4 grams per mile according to the Department of Transport. However, this is only the carbon footprint of the ingredients used to make the drink and doesn't include emissions associated with freezing ice, transporting the ingredients or storage. This would make the carbon footprint of a cocktail even higher.

How can you make a bar more sustainable? 

There are many small adjustments that can be made to minimise the carbon impact of running a bar. Ingredient adjustments would involve using super-juice, olio sacrum and acid-adjusted cordials instead of fresh citrus. Delivery adjustments would involve using alternative packaging to minimise delivery weight. Using local ingredients would reduce emissions and help support local businesses. For ice, consider using reusable ice cubes. Lastly, consider energy-efficient refrigeration systems and storing choice ingredients at room temperature. 

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James Hopkins

James Hopkins

James Hopkins is a 22-year hospitality professional, Founder of The London Cocktail Club and Non-Executive Director of The Good Time Group, known for Peachy Queen Bars and Forest Road Brewery. He is also a hospitality advisor to the Oak Network and focuses on growth, operations, people, and sustainable practices.

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