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Impact Blog: What Is The Business Climate Challenge?

Addressing Energy Management In The Hospitality Industry

Our journey towards being a more sustainable and net-zero business is a huge undertaking, and one that all businesses, not just hospitality, are working on as well. In our work so far, we have been aware of the importance and the need for collaboration and to work with everyone in order to get to where we need to be for a better planet.

What is the Mayor of London’ Business Climate Challenge?

When thinking about collaborative action, one of the highlights for us has been the acceptance of two of our beautiful Gaucho restaurants onto the Mayor of London’s Business Climate Challenge (BCC)! As active members of the community in Fitzrovia and in Camden, our Charlotte Street and Hampstead sites were able to apply to be a part of this fantastic scheme to accelerate the journey towards becoming a net-zero restaurant.

In 2020, the Mayor of London set a target for the capital city to become net zero by 2030 – very ambitious! This requires all sectors, businesses, and energy companies to bring forward their actions to address the carbon emissions that are generated primarily through energy and water use within buildings across London. To support this goal, he launched a pilot scheme called the ‘Business Climate Challenge’, a free energy efficiency programme for businesses, to see what potential carbon savings could be gained through strategic support given to businesses to reduce energy consumption and accelerate building decarbonisation. 

The goal was to reduce energy usage by 10% in the first year and the participating companies absolutely smashed it! They achieved an average of a 16% reduction in energy usage, and carbon emissions, compared to the previous year and now the project has been commissioned for 2023 across more areas of London with more businesses encouraged to take part than before.

Gaucho’s acceptance on to the BCC for both Charlotte Street and Hampstead is quite significant, as the only hospitality business in either the Fitzrovia or Camden cohort, and we sit alongside a myriad of players from other sectors, whether they be theatres, office buildings, or… Together, all participants have committed to reduce our energy consumption by 10% in 2023 compared to what we used in 2022, although we would love to save even more!

Our restaurant energy management efforts

Over the course of this year, we will be working with the BCC to conduct energy audits of the two buildings, set up detailed reporting for our sites and empowering them to understand how to reduce electricity and gas usage within the restaurants, as well as attending workshops and training on hospitality energy management and what net zero is all about. Technical support is provided by WSP and Turner & Townsend, while an online reporting and consumption dashboard has been set up and monitored by Io-Gen.

With the energy crisis presenting significant challenges for businesses and individuals alike, we are very excited to be working with the BCC and all other participating businesses in this important work to decarbonise London! Follow us on our journey as we share our successes and challenges, and see through becoming an energy efficient restaurant  just how much savings can be made across the year.

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