Journey to Net Zero
Journey to Net Zero
In 2021, Fuller’s joined 27 other hospitality businesses to create a Roadmap for Hospitality to Net Zero ahead of the UK Government’s commitment of 2050. As a collective, The Net Zero Carbon Forum committed to achieve Net Zero on or before 2040 – with a commitment to be Net Zero for operational emissions by 2030. As part of this announcement, Fuller’s agreed that we would align with this ambition.
With this in mind, we began to set a roadmap to achieve this ambitious goal. In our baseline year 2020, 26% of Fuller’s carbon footprint related to our operational emissions. It was therefore essential we begin to closely mange and reduce emissions from both our gas and electricity usage.
In October 2021, we committed to procuring 100% renewable energy across our Managed estate and our support centre, Pier House – sourced from wind, solar and hydroelectricity. This change cut our carbon emissions in half overnight.
Our support centre, Pier House, now hosts 104 solar panels on the roof – these will generate around 10% of the power requirements for the building.
All our managed sites have been fitted with smart electricity and gas meters, allowing us to monitor and act on high energy usage. Our IT team developed a pub managers’ online tool to help the team understand how and when they were using energy and to identify opportunities to save energy throughout the day and night.
We also launched a series of training and engagement guides for Mangers, Head Chefs and their teams to share the opportunities to save energy through behavioural change. We also worked with several of our team members to record videos showing how small changes can make a big difference.
While behavioural change has helped to reduce energy usage, we also needed to ensure we invested in our estate to help our team to better control energy usage. Over the past few years, Fuller’s already transitioned to LED lights both internally and externally such as car parks. However, we continued to review where better lighting controls and motion sensors could be implemented during the refurbishment of our pubs and hotels.
Heating accounts for over 50% of the gas used in our sites. To limit gas usage across the winter, we carried out proactive boiler services – resetting controls to the correct time periods and temperature. We also added an organic additive, EndoTherm, to our heating systems to improve the efficiency of heat transfer from radiators.
Our pubs typically generate hot water using standard gas fired boilers. We now have five sites where the hot water is generated by an air source heat pump system – which takes waste heat from our cellar cooling condenser and uses it to create hot water. This not only reduces gas demand but utilises heat which typically would have gone to waste. We are looking at other sites where we can implement this technology over time.
We recognised that cellar cooling can be responsible for over 20% of an average pub’s energy usage. We worked with our cellar services team to identify controls which can reduce energy usage. On our remote beer coolers, we have added smart timers which switch off the refrigeration overnight. This can save up to 25% of electricity overnight without impacting the beer quality. This same technology has also been embedded into our post mix coolers by our beverages partner Britvic. We have also changed the temperature controls on our cellar cooling unit to achieve the right temperature where the beer is stored rather than the ambient temperature of the cellar. This again keeps the beer at the right temperature while reducing energy usage by 20%. We are also using these works as an opportunity to ensure all our cellar equipment is running at its optimum.
We’ve been working with our chefs to consider how and when they switch on equipment. We have also been trialling new electrical kitchen equipment to reduce our requirement for gas and ultimately reduce carbon emissions. We have several sites where we have swapped from gas to induction hobs – which are powered by electricity. The new induction hobs only require power for a tenth of the time that a typical gas hob would be required as they only switch on when in contact with a pan. The transition to induction cooking is not only environmentally beneficial but financially too, as well as reducing the heat in the kitchen for our chefs.
As a result of these initiatives, we have reduced energy usage to date by 13% for electricity and 14% for gas. This has resulted in a 948-tonne reduction in carbon emissions. We expect to see further savings as projects continue to roll out.
In order to achieve Net Zero in our operations by 2030, we need to transition away from high carbon fuels such as mains gas, oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Our approach is to develop energy efficient, electrically powered pubs where possible to dramatically reduce our reliance on these fuels. In August 2022, we opened our first all electric pub – The Queen’s Arms in Heathrow Terminal 2. The Admiralty reopened in April 2023 following a refit due to a fire. As part of the refurbishment, the pub is now fully electric – with a commitment to only procure 100% renewable electricity, it is powered by a zero carbon energy source. The Willow in Bourton-on-the-Water, our newest pub located in the Cotswolds, is also kitted out with energy saving equipment throughout – all lighting, heating and cooling, and the majority of the kitchen equipment, are all powered by renewable energy sources. These sites are helping us to define how we electrify more of our pubs and hotels moving forward.