Award-winning vegan restaurant Stem & Glory has launched a pledge to become carbon negative by the end of the year.

Following participation in the London Mayor’s ‘Better Futures+ Programme – a programme funded by the Mayor’s office to assist businesses in getting to net zero by 2030 – Stem & Glory has decided more urgent action is needed, and brought forward its pledge to the end of this year (2021).

The Better Futures+ programme was delivered by West London Business, working with experts from the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), Think Hospitality and Climate Essentials. Using this support and combined with carbon labelling experts Foodsteps, Stem & Glory has taken a deep dive into its emissions across the entire business, from procurement to restaurant fit out and have set targets weekly, monthly and annually in terms of reduction and offset.

Even though participation in the programme revealed that, as a plant-based brand already using only 100% renewable energy, Stem & Glory is operating at significantly lower emissions than the average restaurant (less than 20%), and less than 23% of the average SME, the programme has highlighted where significant reductions can be made. Founder of Stem & Glory Louise Palmer-Masterton has committed to multiple actions within Stem & Glory, and is assisting as many other businesses as possible to make similar changes.

“One of the simplest and most significant actions restaurants (or any business or family) can take to lower their carbon emissions is to move their electricity supply to a 100% renewable tariff, and stop cooking on gas,” said Louise Palmer-Masterton. “The second is, of course, reduction in the consumption of animal products across the board. With beef and lamb products producing more than 30 times the emissions per kg as plant-based protein, and dairy more than seven times the emissions of plant-milks we all need to be serious about how we feed ourselves sustainably for the sake of future generations.”

“At Stem & Glory, we intend to completely decarbonise eating out, so our customers know their dining choices are sustainable ones, and we urge restaurants everywhere to join us on this journey – helping diners play their part in tacking the most critical challenge we all face.”

Stem & Glory has a number of other initiatives within its restaurants, such as the use of contemporary furniture made from recycled post-consumer waste, and repurposed products, all of which have a significant impact on reducing the emissions of the restaurants. From October, Stem & Glory will be removing single use coffee cups completely in favour of reusable cups, with reusable lunch boxes to follow. The brand is working with several partners on coffee cup and lunch box swap schemes, which they expect to grow rapidly in the coming months and years.

What emissions remain once all reduction strategies have been exhausted are offset working with accredited UK and global partners, aiming to over-offset and become carbon negative by end 2021.

Future strategies also include carbon labelling on all menus via a partnership with Foodsteps which will allow customers to further offset the emissions of their meal via an optional levy which will go directly towards offset projects supported by Stem & Glory.

“The process of completing the Better Futures+ Programme has been extremely enlightening on many levels. We have been bowled over by the support and encouragement we have received from starting the conversation with our customers, suppliers and partners about reducing our joint carbon emissions. We are very much looking forward to a better and more sustainable future” said Palmer-Masterton.

ABOUT STEM & GLORY

Louise Palmer-Masterton is founder of multiple award-winning restaurant Stem & Glory; a hip and trendy but accessible plant-based restaurant, serving delicious gourmet vegan food, all prepared freshly on-site. www.stemandglory.uk

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References:

Figures quoted for Stem & Glory and comparisons to other SMEs are the result of research by West London Business.

Stem & Glory’s emissions are 57,000kg of CO2 per site per year including the recent fit-out. Even factoring in the fit-out Stem & Glory’s emissions are still 77% lower, on average, than other SMEs.

Figures from Cool Food Pledge (2019): “Carbon emission data does vary – but using the data we used in your carbon footprint, the figures for meat and dairy comparisons are actually quite low. For example, in our calculator beef (from outside of Europe has an emissions factor of 52.05 kg CO2 e / per kg of product whereas soy pieces (tofu) has a factor of 1.72 kg CO2 e / kg or product, giving a 30 x greater emissions factor for beef. With dairy, cow milk (outside Europe) = 4.35 kg CO2 e / kg, soy milk = 0.58 kg CO2 e / kg, giving a 7.5 x greater emissions for cow’s milk.