Driving environmental sustainability
Words by The Pinnacle Guide founders
Sustainability is a word so overused that it often invokes an eye roll from the very best of us. Yes yes. We know. No more plastic straws. But flippancy aside - hot damn we need to be working harder AND smarter to make sure we're taking care of this planet so The Pinnacle Guide even has time to launch...
The overriding feeling from this round table amongst both viewers and panellists was that you have to start somewhere. Small changes lead to big improvements and removing single-use anything from your venue and taking time and care to think about your 'waste-streams' and what can be improved is a huge step towards a better bar industry. Basically - it's impossible to be perfect all of the time, but points should certainly be awarded for trying.
We acknowledge that the criteria will need to be tailored when discussing sustainability on a global level - as what is available within each country's infrastructure will wildly impact on the level some bars are able to commit to.
However - asking the questions or providing a tick list at stage one of a bar's application to be awarded a PIN may encourage a way of thinking that a bar has not felt relevant before. The point was expanded on - this tick list could and should range from the considered removal of single-use to a bar being certified B corp - and it was debated that within a list of say 15 points - achieving 5 would be necessary for 1 PIN, 10 for 2 PINS and so on... With feedback clearly sent back for improvement where possible.
This starts to give The Pinnacle Guide an even bigger responsibility and purpose - challenging and improving standards for a better, more sustainable industry.
How we call out those venues that are making the biggest strides in sustainability was also discussed amongst the panel.
The Michelin Guide only added the option for a Green Star in 2021 - some one-hundred-and-something years after they originally launched, but The Pinnacle Guide is a business for the future. Should we be calling out
'sustainable' venues with their own green PIN - or should we simply be expecting a certain level of care from the off? Our panellists were unanimously of the opinion that environmental considerations should form part of the main criteria. They felt like separating out a separate Green PIN might make it seem "optional" and perhaps do more damage in the long run. What do you think?
As always - we're here to put your opinions on record as we shape and formulate The Pinnacle Guide. If you have any feedback to this conversation, please email hello@thepinnacleguide.
This sessions panellists
Alex is the Group Bars Director for Bonomy Group, and has overseen Little Red Door, the world's 29th best bar as of 2021, spearheading Little Red Door's transition to a Farm to Table model.
Hailing from the deep East Midlands in England, Alex joined team Little Red Door in early 2019 via Sheffield & London, having worked in esteemed venues such as Rules, BlackRock & Bourne & Hollingsworth.
Kelsey brings over 15 years of experience to the hospitality industry and following an award-winning career in bars all over the world - in October 2016 she and Iain Griffiths launched Trash Tiki, an online sustainable-focused platform and touring pop-up bar that creates every ingredient and flavour from by-products and waste. In 2019 - she opened her first solo cocktail bar in Toronto called Supernova Ballroom and the bar is meant to be the living embodiment of Trash Tiki's sustainable teachings.
She has recently also partnered with Pernod Ricard to be their global sustainability ambassador with the goal of educating 10,000 bartenders around the world on sustainable bar practices and creating a new model for the bar of the future by 2025.
Zdenek is a 20-year veteran of the food and beverage industry and has worked in Prague, Sydney, London, India, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Previously he was one of the founding team members of Proof & Company - Asia Pacific's leading independent spirits distributor but now he leads international sales for ecoSPIRITS.
ecoSPIRITS is an innovative closed-loop distribution system that nearly eliminates packaging waste in the premium spirits supply chain. By dramatically reducing packaging and transport costs, ecoSPIRITS provides both a powerful cost advantage and a transformative carbon footprint reduction.