As consumers continue to become more aware of the environmental impact of their choices, eco-friendly businesses are showing significant growth in the market. Our cupboards at home evidence this change, with companies such as Ecover, Who Gives A Crap, Method and Clipper Teas showing that green sells, and can even carry a premium.
The hospitality and on-trade industries have noted the opportunities and started to embrace a more eco-friendly ethos, focusing on sustainable, local and seasonal sourcing of products and a minimal impact approach.
However, few focus on their water wastage. This is one of the simplest (and most commonly overlooked) ways to reduce your environmental impact and improve the green credentials of your business.
Pubs use a lot of water. The most recent figures show there are 40,683 pubs in the UK – working on a conservative estimate of 8 barrels each with one line in each venue, that’s 325,464 lines in total. If each venue cleans every week, running the recommended 15 pints through every line, that’s 4,881,960 pints of water wasted per week – or 253,861,920 pints per year.
What’s more, these numbers don’t account for beer wastage and the harmful caustic chemicals used in line cleaning. If each line in the UK holds 3 pints, that’s 976,392 pints of beer wasted per week – 11,716,704 pints per year. Double the amount of caustic line cleaner would be pumped into the environment: given that sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide, two of the most common chemicals in beerline cleaner, are non-biodegradable hazardous compounds causing severe skin burns, we would do well to reduce our use of it.
This is where StayClean comes in. With a StayClean system installed, a bar would save at least 75% of its wasted water by moving to monthly line cleans. This could be improved further, with some of our customers achieving up to 6 weeks between line cleans in cellars with optimised conditioning. With almost 7000 kegs currently being treated by StayClean, we estimate our water wastage reduction to be around 4,700,000 per year.
In addition to the water savings, the bar would also be reducing its ullage and selling 75% of the beer it currently wastes, reducing working hours spent on cleaning lines and avoiding the environmental and health hazards associated with using and disposing of the toxic chemicals used to clean their lines.
Whilst environmental benefits of reduced water usage (with its associated processing, filtration and cleansing) are front and centre to the concerns of many business owners, the side benefits of reduced costs, increased profits and minimal exposure to chemicals should not be dismissed.