UGP’s Head of Major Accounts Discusses Actions from COP26 by Announcing Exciting New Partnership with the Institute of Hospitality
The news this month has been dominated by the global fight against climate change following COP26 in Glasgow, and I’m encouraged to see a number of key pledges and commitments following the summit. Working in the commercial energy industry, I’m all too aware of the importance of corporate sustainability for our customers and I’ve witnessed a huge surge in the demand for renewable energy solutions over the past few years.
This month, we forged a new partnership with the Institute of Hospitality. I was particularly struck by how passionately the topic of sustainability was discussed and after reading the latest HQ Magazine, it’s evident to me that environmental responsibility is gaining huge momentum within the hospitality sector. Businesses are beginning to realise that in addition to their moral obligation to help the UK’s future net zero target, there are multiple benefits that adopting a more sustainable way of working can bring to their businesses, not only with energy but areas such as food waste and sustainable Christmas decorations. And how much impact these strategies have on not just customer attraction but also staff attraction and retention.
Now more than ever people and businesses want to work with and for responsible partners. I’ve helped a number of organisations make the switch to a sustainable energy programme, and those customers have reported a number of key commercial benefits such as an enhanced ability to attract staff, customers and partners to their businesses.
During the pandemic, consumer behaviour shifted. Online shopping experienced its highest growth in over a decade and when given more time to consider purchases at home, customers began to consider factors such as brand reputation, ethics and environmental sustainability when making their decisions. The tide has most definitely turned, and businesses that can demonstrate a social conscience now will undoubtedly enjoy a competitive edge as we get closer to net zero.
I’ve also witnessed a surge in the demand for electric vehicle charging points, a service we’re delighted to offer UGP customers. It’s predicted that by 2030, 60% of the UK’s new car sales will be “plug-in” models. This is great news, but it represents a real challenge for the UK charging infrastructure. Hospitality businesses will have a key role to play in increasing the charging network across the UK and with many financial incentives for early adopters, now is the time for the sector to start to consider installing EV charging stations. Working with the IOH members, I’m looking forward to making a meaningful impact to a carbon neutral UK.
I’m excited to be able to help businesses within the UK hospitality sector to reduce their carbon footprints with the supply of 100% renewable energy. All of the power we supply at UGP comes from wind, hydro and solar sources of energy and one of the single most significant changes that businesses can make to become more sustainable is to switch to a renewable energy supply. While there’s a common belief that renewable power is more expensive than its non-renewable alternatives, this is not true – we’ve been supplying renewable power at no additional cost to our customers for years.
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