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Finding Value in Sustainability in Hospitality

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We’re all aware of the effects that climate change is having on our planet.  Yet people and businesses around the world are rising to meet the challenge of saving it for future generations.

The COP26 conference, concluding in November 2021, saw almost 200 countries agree to the Glasgow Climate Pact, an agreement that will accelerate action on climate change this decade and keep alive the hope of limiting the rise in global temperatures to 1.5C. A key goal of COP26 is mitigation: reducing emissions with a target of net-zero by 2030. 90% of world GDP is now covered by net-zero commitments, with 153 countries putting forward new 2030 emissions targets. (1)

Businesses from each country have made their sustainability pacts, and are taking initiatives to adapt their practices to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly. We understand that businesses of all sizes need to consider where the value in sustainability lies for them. As with any investment, there needs to be some return. In this article, we explore how this might look for those in the hospitality and drinks industry.

Consumer Trends

Consumers value sustainability and expect businesses to care too. Research from PROOF Insight found that 57% of consumers want more sustainability information on drinks labels and 51% want more sustainability information on menus. The research also found that over half of consumers think there is a lack of information about the impact of drinks on the environment.

As a society we are used to convenience and getting anything almost instantly, but this does tend to come at a cost to the environment. Consumers who are looking to be more sustainable in their lives need solutions that fit in with busy lifestyles and tightening purse strings. This leaves the responsibility of sustainability on brands and businesses to make the environmentally friendly choice easy and convenient for consumers - 76% agree responsibility lies with manufacturers to make eco-friendly drinks.

The Business Value of Sustainability

As consumers become increasingly aware of the impact their choices have on the planet, they are increasingly looking for brands and businesses that do good - both for people and planet. Being committed to being sustainable reaps many rewards for businesses, including saving costs, lowering risks, supply chain security, access to new markets, customer loyalty, and overall enhanced brand value.

And businesses who have adopted sustainability standards report both short-term and long-term benefits. Most noted short-term benefits include sales and marketing (98% of businesses who used sustainability standards reported sales and marketing benefits), followed by operations benefits and procurement benefits. From 2013-2018, sales of products that had a visible sustainability claim grew 5.6 times faster than those that did not. (3)

Sustainability impacts not only contribute to business benefits, but they often are also a condition for other business benefits to materialise – for example, improved brand reputation.

Introducing Impact at Matthew Clark

Here at Matthew Clark, across more than 90% of our fleet, we're now using Euro VI vehicles which make use of efficient engines to deliver lower emissions. We’ve also installed solar technology on the roofs are some of our trucks, which proactively reduces the fuel and emissions of each vehicle by utilising the harnessed energy to power vehicle equipment. And we’re always looking for ways to reduce the impact we have on the environment around us.

Most recently, we’ve been working to develop our sustainability initiative, ‘Impact.’ As part of our efforts to be more honest and transparent, we’ll be highlighting our efforts to move towards more sustainable practices and shine the spotlight on environmentally friendly producers. We’re excited to share with you our favourite sustainable sips, impact producers, eco-friendly packaging and the value sustainable products and practices can offer.

Follow our social media to keep up to date with our Impact activities:


  1. COP26-Presidency-Outcomes-The-Climate-Pact.pdf (
  3. Rainforest Alliance - what is the business value of sustainability




About the author

Mary McCarron

Mary looks after the majority of Matthew Clark's digital marketing comms. After a couple of years working in tech, she found her way back to the hospitality industry and can now be found talking all things cocktails, spirits, beer, softs and more across our website, social media, and other digital channels.

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