Operating ethically and sustainably

We are committed to operating ethically and sustainably and to finding ways, over time, to reduce our carbon emissions. 

We promote recycling throughout the business and try to reduce energy consumption. 

It is the company’s aim to:

• increasingly minimise our environmental impact and reduce our carbon emissions.
• minimise energy consumption and maximise efficiency.
• promote efficient purchasing to minimise waste and allow for material-recycling.
• adopt efficient waste-management strategies and stop waste from being sent to landfill.
• minimise any emissions or effluents which may cause environmental damage.

Climate change

The company is committed to achieving net-zero emissions in the UK and Ireland by 2050 and will, if possible, reach this goal sooner. 

We are developing a road map for getting there. Agreeing on science-based targets will ensure that the company follows a credible and scientifically verified carbon-reduction pathway.

In addition, the company is a member of the Zero Carbon Forum, a non-profit-making organisation supporting the hospitality industry to comply with government reporting requirements and implement a roadmap to net-zero carbon emissions. 

Wetherspoon has been recognised for reducing its greenhouse gas emissions.

Reducing energy consumption 

Our target is to reduce annual electricity, gas and water consumption through a combination of operational initiatives and the introduction of energy-efficient technology. This approach will also reduce carbon emissions.

The company has an energy and environment group, chaired by finance director Ben Whitley.  Each pub has an energy, environment and recycling champion, responsible for reducing consumption  at their pub and communicating top tips and initiatives to staff.

These energy champions help to encourage changes in behaviour, like using fire-up/power-down guides to ensure that pubs are efficient and minimise energy consumption when we’re closed.

Each pub receives a monthly report, detailing the amount of electricity and gas consumed and including tips on how this can be reduced.

Employees receive training in this area, along with an energy guide which provides employees, among other things, with information about when equipment should be turned on/off.

Improving energy-efficiency 

Several pieces of energy-saving technology are now installed as standard in any new pubs and, over the following years, will be retro-fitted in pubs across the estate.

The company consistently trials new ideas and energy-saving technology to reduce consumption and CO2 emissions, including the following:
• solar panels
• rainwater-harvesting systems
• ground-source-heat pumps
• adiabatic cooling systems
• wind turbines
• light tubes
• building energy management system (BMS)
• voltage-optimising 

Use of renewable energy 

With effect from October 2022, electricity supplied to pubs in the UK and head office will have been generated from 100% renewable sources. Pubs and hotels in Ireland are currently on a different contract which will be considered when it is available to renew.

Reducing carbon emissions

As are starting point, we are allocating carbon emissions for every product which we sell, including food, drinks and hotel rooms. Where detailed data is not currently available, we are making assumptions based on industry averages. Over time, this data quality will improve. 

Reducing our carbon emissions will rely, ultimately, on a partnership approach with our UK and worldwide suppliers and on their plans to reduce carbon emissions. 

Reducing, reusing, recycling and waste management 

As a business, we aim to minimise waste and maximise recycling.

The pubs and head office segregate waste into a minimum of seven streams: glass, tin/cans, cooking oil, paper/cardboard, plastic, lightbulbs and general waste.

In addition, food waste is also separated and sent for anaerobic digestion.

Draught beer and ale are supplied to pubs in barrels which are returned to the brewery for cleaning and reuse.

Wetherspoon has a national distribution centre for food, some bottled drinks and non-consumable products. It also includes a recycling centre. When making deliveries to pubs, lorries collect mixed recycling, used cooking oil, textiles and aluminium for return to the recycling centre – so reducing the company’s carbon footprint via reduced road miles.

During the financial year 2022/23, the pubs sent 9,911 tonnes of waste to the recycling centre, a decrease of 770 tonnes, or 7%, on the previous year.

Used and returned cooking oil is converted to biodiesel for agricultural use.
The volume of paper used to print menus and other marketing materials has reduced in the last three years, partly through improved management at pub level and also changing customer habits. 

No waste is sent to landfill.

Water waste 

Water usage is monitored across all pubs and head office. Where possible, we are installing low-flow or push-button taps, along with toilets requiring less water to flush. 

We are trialling data management systems which help to pinpoint unexpected changes in water consumption – which may indicate a change in behaviour or a supply leak. 
Reducing food waste 

All pubs segregate food waste, which is collected and sent for anaerobic digestion. 

Any unwanted, yet fit-for-consumption, food is donated to our charity partner FareShare, which distributes it to food banks, community centres and/or others in need. 


All employees are encouraged to participate actively in the business strategy, including:

• 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable
• 70% of plastic packaging to be effectively recycled or composted
• 30% average recycled content across plastic packaging
• Action, through redesign, innovation or alternative (reuse) delivery models, to eliminate problematic or unnecessary single-use plastic items

Single-use plastics 

Our approach focuses on two areas: 

• Removing unnecessary single-use plastics which can be avoided 
• Waste management of plastics – aim for 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable  

To date, the following steps have been taken to reduce single-use plastics’ use:
• Plastic straws – removed in December 2017 and replaced with 100% biodegradable and 100% recyclable paper straws and wrappers. Customers can self-select a straw, if required, rather than automatically being given one each time. 
• Plastic water bottles – complimentary water fountains are available in all pubs. Alternatives to the current single-use plastic bottles are being reviewed.
• Plastic packaging – we are working to reduce and, where possible, remove the use of plastic packaging for food. Plastic containers used in the kitchen are now reusable – and cling film use has ceased. 
• Plastic milk cartons – these are segregated and recycled separately. We are working with our dairy supplier to replace plastic milk cartons with bag-in-a-box milk, so using less plastic packaging. 
• Disposable coffee cups – the majority of hot drinks sold in pubs is consumed on the premises, including unlimited complimentary refills, all served in a china mug!

Toxic emissions and waste 

The company does not create any toxic emissions or waste. 

Electronic waste
Electronic waste is disposed of using specialised contractors to safely dispose of the items.

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