Sustainable Restaurant Association, a not-for-profit, nationwide, membership-based organisation committed to promoting sustainability across all parts of the UK’s restaurant industry, is to launch in January next year.
Set up by Giles Gibbons, the founder of responsible business consultancy Good Business, and funded initially with money from the Lottery, the SRA aims to be the port of call for any restaurant wanting advice on sustainability.
“Restaurants are under increasing pressure to address a wide range of sustainability issues – from consumers, employees, the government and media. In order for restaurants to be successful longterm, they can’t ignore those pressures,” said Gibbons.
While recognising that many restaurants had looked at specific issues, he said there hadn’t been a comprehensive, consistent response, partly because of the complex, diverse nature of the issues involved. By pulling together the advice of dozens of organisations, highlighting best practice and offering support, the SRA believes it can help restaurants offer that comprehensive response.
Members, who will pay as little as £100 to join, will receive tools and guidance to implement sustainable policies and there will be independent audits leading to sustainability accreditation. Gibbons, who is being supported in the venture by Mark Sainsbury, director of Moro, has already had positive discussions with restaurant groups such as Carluccio’s, D&D London and Gordon Ramsay Holdings with a view to them becoming ‘early adopters’.
Part of the SRA’s role will also be to provide a voice for the industry when restaurant sustainability issues arise in the media.