How to reduce your business’s carbon footprint

The climate got a welcome break from man’s harmful emissions over the pandemic. The human footprint lessened to a level not seen in decades; flights halved, road traffic in the UK fell by more than 70% and industrial emissions in China alone were cut by 250 million tonnes.

But many agree that this positive respite was all too short for the good of the climate. And as we come ever closer to COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in early November, we ask how can nightlife businesses become sustainable and climate conscious?

What does it mean to be “net zero”?

In simple terms, net zero is about equilibrium; matching Green House Gas emissions and Green House Gas removals. This is not an easy task, especially for nightlife and leisure businesses. It involves calculating emission inventory over a 12-month period, and creating a climate action plan. When discussing the nightlife sector, Chief Executive Simon Heppner of Net-Zero Now said:  “One of the things we’ve learned is this is a sector with a big impact and small margins. This is a sector where the climate impact is big and so the potential conversion cost is high and margins are low. Going net-zero will be really hard for this sector.”

This means their new initiative announced in July is all the more important. “[Transitioning to net zero] has got to be the only sensible commercial decision and, without the Government leading on that through subsidies and taxes, we’re looking to industry leaders” said Heppner. And as under-30s become increasingly sustainability-minded, businesses setting a net zero commitment could help with hiring and retention of staff.

What is the Net-Zero Pubs and Bars Initiative?

The Net Zero Pubs and Clubs initiative has been specifically designed to help pubs rise to this challenge with a sector approved standard and an online platform to guide you through the 4-step process.

The platform is easy to use and lays out the road for your business to go net zero. Once accomplished, it results in a credible certification which can be proudly displayed on your website or at your venue.

The app also provides a climate action report which illustrates:

  • Your current footprint
  • Reduction targets
  • Actions to take
  • Carbon credits to purchase

The platform is ideal for those who struggle to or don’t know how to calculate their carbon footprint. To learn more about the platform, visit Net-Zero’s information page today.

For businesses that have already calculated their emissions, Net-Zero have provided a playbook and resources around emission reduction activity.

The climate action playbook should be used as a complimentary resource for exploring the variety of action you can take. The download for the resources can be found in the above link.


At NDML, we want to further our mission to support pubs and bars in everything they do, including improving their sustainability. The Net-Zero Bars and Pubs initiative provides venues with a simple tool to go net zero in compliance with the standard.

For more tips on sustainability, how to properly run a successful nightlife business, and risk management solutions, contact NDML. Our experts are ready to discuss the unique needs of your club.

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