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Environment and sustainability

Company commitment
We are committed to operating ethically and sustainably and to finding ways, over time, to reduce our carbon emissions.

It is the company’s aim to:
• increasingly minimise our environmental impact and reduce carbon emissions.
• minimise energy consumption and maximise efficiency.
• promote efficient purchasing to minimise waste and allow for material-recycling.
• adopt efficient waste-management strategies and stop waste from being sent to landfill.
• minimise any emissions or effluents which may cause environmental damage.

The company has committed to achieving net-zero emissions in the UK and Ireland by 2050 and, if possible, will reach this goal sooner.

In January 2023, the company committed to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)1 for all pub operations and the global supply chain, in line with avoiding the worst effects of climate change.
Agreeing on science-based targets will ensure that the company follows a credible and scientifically verified carbon-reduction pathway. 

Under SBTi, J D Wetherspoon commits to:
• reduce absolute scopes2 1 and 2 GHG emissions 80% by FY2033 from an FY2019 base year.
• reduce absolute scope2 3 GHG emissions 59% within the same time frame.
• reduce absolute scopes 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions 90% by FY2050 from an FY2019 base year.
• reach net-zero GHG emissions across the value chain by FY2050.

Environmental issues, including climate change, cannot be tackled in isolation; they require an integrated and co-ordinated approach.

As part of the plan, we will work with our suppliers, building designers, equipment providers, employees and other business partners to minimise any impact.

The company is a member of the Zero Carbon Forum (, a non-profit-making organisation supporting the hospitality industry to comply with government reporting requirements and to implement a roadmap to net-zero carbon emissions.

Governance and responsibilities
See: J D Wetherspoon TCFD report

The board of directors is responsible for the oversight of environmental initiatives. 

It receives an update at least twice a year, including progress made towards various initiatives.

The finance director, Ben Whitley, has overall responsibility for achieving the company targets and implementation of the plan. Sustainability, including climate change, is discussed regularly by the management board at several senior company meetings.

The assessment, mitigation and monitoring of sustainability and climate-related risks are included in the risk management process, looking at short-, medium- and longer-term risks as part of the overall and relative significance to the business.

The company has an energy and environment group, chaired by the finance director.
1 The SBTi is a partnership among the Climate Disclosure Project, the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature to drive ambitious climate action. It enables companies to set science-based emissions reduction targets.
2 Scope 1 (direct emissions from controlled sources, eg company vehicles); scope 2 (indirect emissions from purchased sources, eg electricity); scope 3 (all other indirect emissions which occur in an organisation’s suppliers and users’ activities)

Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)
– using national grid averages
• Scope 1 – direct emissions • Scope 2 – indirect emissions

  • Conversion factors for electricity and gas are those published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
  • Reported data is in respect of the year ended 31 July 2023, to align with the period under which carbon emissions are reported.
  • Refrigerant emissions from our pubs are not reported, as these are considered immaterial.
Reducing carbon emissions – scopes 1 and 2

  • Scope 1 − direct emissions from controlled sources, eg company vehicles
  • Scope 2 − indirect emissions from purchased sources, eg electricity

Overall, the company has achieved a reduction of 47.5% in scope 1 and 2 emissions since financial year 2014.

The company is focusing on three main areas to achieve further reductions, along with the added incentive of reducing the impact of any future energy price fluctuations:

• Reducing energy consumption
• Improving energy-efficiency
• Using renewable energy

Reducing energy consumption

Our target is to reduce annual electricity, gas and water consumption through a combination of operational initiatives and the introduction energy efficient technology. This approach will also reduce carbon emissions. The company has an energy and environment group, chaired by finance director Ben Whitley. Each pub has an energy, environment and recycling champion, responsible for both reducing consumption at his or her pub and communicating top tips and initiatives to staff.

These energy champions help to encourage changes in behaviour, like using fire-up/power-down guides to ensure that pubs are efficient and minimise energy consumption when we’re closed.

Each pub receives a monthly report, detailing the amount of electricity and gas consumed, including tips on how this can be reduced.

Employees receive training in this area, along with an energy guide which provides, among other things, information about when equipment should be turned on/off.

Improving energy-efficiency
Several pieces of energy-saving technology are now installed as standard in any new Wetherspoonpubs and, over the following years, will be retro-fitted in pubs across the estate. These include:

• free-air cellar-cooling systems (cools the cellar by bringing in outside air, when external temperatures are low enough).
• sensor lighting. LED lighting, using 50% less energy, on average.
• Lossnay heat-recovery systems (extraction system which recovers heat energy from the building, then uses it to warm up the incoming fresh air). 

Cheetah extraction management systems are installed in about 80% of pubs to control kitchens’ ventilation. Smart electricity meters have been fitted in around 92% of pubs and are being installed, where possible, in those remaining. Gas AMRs are installed in around 85% of pubs – these record gas consumption data remotely, in a similar way to smart electricity meters.

The company consistently trials new ideas and energy-saving technology to reduce consumption and CO2 emissions, including the following:
• solar panels
• rainwater-harvesting systems
• ground-source-heat pumps
• adiabatic cooling systems
• wind turbines
• light tubes
• building energy management system (BEMS)
• voltage-optimising

Using renewable energy
With effect from October 2022, electricity supplied to pubs in the UK and head office1 has been generated from 100% renewable sources. Pubs and hotels in Ireland are currently on a different contract which will be considered when its renewal is due.

Reducing carbon emissions – scope 3

Scope 3 − the largest contributor to the company’s overall emissions. It comprises all other indirect emissions which occur in an organisation’s suppliers and users’ activities, representing an estimated 89% of total output; however, measuring carbon emissions in our supply chain is complex.

As a starting point, we are allocating carbon emissions for every product which we sell, including food, drinks and hotel rooms. Where detailed data is not currently available, we are making assumptions based on industry averages. Over time, this data quality will improve.

Reducing our scope 3 emissions will rely, ultimately, on a partnership approach with our UK and worldwide suppliers and on their own plans to reduce carbon emissions.

1A few UK pubs, where electricity is supplied by the landlord, are excluded.