Mick Jary, Specification Director, Meiko UK
For operational foodservice staff, it’s easy to say, ‘it’s not my bill,’ leave the lights on, or the tap leaking and shrug off the consequences as ‘not my problem’.
As business leaders though, this is where we can and must do more, not just for the bottom line for the business (although this is a great incentive), but so we are also doing our bit for the planet.
Sustainable kitchens are a massive subject that is very much in vogue (thankfully) and a subject that will only gain more traction when the Environment Bill finally gets passed into law later this year.
We have been temporarily distracted by the Covid crisis. But as we come back to a regular service, we will once again regain our focus on environmental issues and especially, the fact that we are short of water and that this is only getting worse!
There will be shortages unless we start using water more wisely, so now’s the time to agitate to make sustainability the status quo.
Meiko’s ‘Why Care About Water Report’ has been created specifically for foodservice managers and their teams. It clearly shows the need for the industry to change and provides some small steps that we can all take to make a big difference.
It demonstrates that we can do many things to make our business world more sustainable, just like we are doing at home.
TIPS: Address the common hotspots
• Reduce water flow on taps with aerators and pressure regulators. These reduce flow rates without the need for changing tap fittings.
• Stop running taps. Leaving taps on unnecessarily is a common kitchen (bad) practice.
• Stop drips. A dripping tap wastes at least 5,500 litres per year. A dripping hot water tap wastes energy too.
Warewashers are among commercial kitchens’ premium water users.
Check specifications for sustainability-related features such as those in the list below.
• Wastewater and exhaust heat recovery and heat retention features. These can save up to 21% on energy costs. Heat recovery from the exhaust also prevents steam from escaping, uncontrolled, into the kitchen, improving working conditions.
• Reduced size wash tanks and improved water filtration systems. These remove food soils from the wash water and clear them out of the tank without using additional water. This allows efficient use of detergent and water, as they can be reused multiple times.
• More efficient jets. Innovative designs use less energy to spray detergent and water when cleaning.
• Innovative dish rack designs. These ensure machines clean better, with fewer resources, while fitting more in.
• Built-in reverse osmosis. Offered by water-savvy manufacturers, this technology delivers “hand-polished” results, especially on cutlery and glassware. It lessens the consumption of chemicals such as detergent and rinse aid and reduces the need for water-softening apparatus.
Start taking these small but significant steps on World Water Day and check out our full Why Care about Water Report here.