15Hatfields calls for bold and ambitious sustainability legislation 

With the general election taking place this Thursday, Warren Campbell, the general manager of London’s leading sustainable events venue, 15Hatfields, is calling for bold long-term policies from whichever party secures the national vote.  

No matter who is elected on the 4 July, it’s essential that the government takes a long-term approach to help increase the business meetings and events sector’s sustainability efforts. The government needs to be more ambitious with its legislation and targets as unfortunately we won’t affect change, unless it comes into law. 

I think there’s three key areas that are essential to help increase the business meetings and events sector’s sustainability efforts and the race to Net Zero. 

Re-using and recycling 

We need enduring policies that encourage and foster a culture to reuse and recycle to reduce waste, conserve resources and minimise the environmental impact. 

Having successfully eradicated all single-use plastic from our South Bank venue in 2019 – we would like to see a cap on the UK production of single-use plastic to force alternatives to be sought. 

Similarly, let’s be bold and ban single-use packaging and instead introduce innovative and all-encompassing deposit return schemes to incentivise the return and recycling of packaging, materials and particularly glass beverage containers. This will reduce waste to landfill and incineration plants and increase recycling rates. 

Green power company  

To reach Net Zero by 2050, and cut emissions by 45% by 2030, it takes huge investment, and we should be leading the way with bold and strategic plans that have longevity and cross-party commitment.  

We should be investing in a nationalised green power company to champion and drive the transition to greener energy and renewables such as wind, solar and hydro power. 

Continued investment in renewable energy projects and technology will be pivotal to achieving the targets and supporting environmental sustainability, economic growth and social wellbeing. Having dramatically reduced our carbon footprint, one of our next initiatives will be to explore solar energy for our venue, as part of our work towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

People 

We also need to invest in our people. The hospitality industry still has a major shortage of staff – venues and operators are all struggling. Where is the next generation of hospitality managers, supervisors and line staff going to come from? For our sector to be sustainable and for business to grow we need a change in UK’s visa application process to allow those who would like to work in the UK the opportunity to do so. Like many hospitality operators we are heavily reliant on agency staff because we are struggling to recruit.