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Welcome to our summary blog for 2022. At M, last year was packed full of projects, events, new initiatives and new openings. Did you know we were the winner of the R200 best new opening of 2022? But we want to be known for much more than just this, especially when it comes to our impact.
With our new and improved impact strategy, we made real progress in 2022. With staff education, new partners and engaging our suppliers with our net zero ambitions, we made genuine strides to achieving our eco-friendly goals.
Let’s look back at the year, what we achieved and what’s in store for 2023.
London Climate Change Events in 2022
In the summer we outlined a whole host of London Climate Change events, including London Climate Action Week, Sustainable Events Show and Net Zero Week. Attending such events was a prime opportunity to build relationships with partners and potential suppliers, all who share a similar mindset around restaurant sustainability. You can be sure that London’s best restaurants of 2022 were there.
Becoming an eco-friendly restaurant
Last year saw us step with our actions in becoming an eco-friendly restaurant. In a letter from our founder, we outlined our goal for empathy, curiosity and courage. Since the genesis of this restaurant group, we have sought to create values-driven, eco-friendly restaurants at the heart of their communities.
And we have set real goals to back this up, aiming to be a net zero business by 2040. While this is ambitious, we believe that by doing more every year, we can achieve this goal of achieving net zero across Scopes 1 and 2 by 2030 and Scope 3 by 2040.
We are committed to sustainability and reducing our impact on the environment. In 2022, the restaurant group undertook several initiatives aimed at reducing its carbon footprint and waste, while also providing impact awareness training for its staff. Let’s take a look.
Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) and Food Made Good
We were excited to become a member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) in 2021. The SRA works with businesses across the foodservice industry, industry bodies, campaign groups and suppliers to accelerate change towards an environmentally and socially progressive sector.
In this process, we were awarded a One Star Food Made Good sustainability rating last year, assessing our commitments in sourcing, society and environment. Our highest overall score was achieved in the environment category thanks to a number of initiatives, including:
● A zero-waste-to-landfill policy.
● All food waste going to anaerobic digestion.
● A 75% recycling rate across all restaurants.
Zero Carbon Forum (ZCF)
ZCF encourages its members to reach sustainability targets with better efficiency, speed and effectiveness. These guys helped us identify carbon emission hotspots and priority areas to tackle.
As part of working with the ZCF, we investigated the benefits of regenerative agriculture; one of the many initiatives to help decarbonise the supply chain. For more information on how we used this, see an article written from the London Economic on how we ‘put regenerative farming on the map with carbon-neutral beef’.
Increased food supply from local producers
As highlighted in our Food Made Good assessment, we needed to do some work on increasing food supply from local producers. So we did.
We recently formed a new partnership with supplier The Ethical Butcher: an organisation that prides itself on providing beef from UK farms that practise regenerative agriculture. This means they use farmers that honour natural systems and farm in ways that increase biodiversity and regenerate the land, having a good impact on the British countryside.
Then there’s Crate to Plate. This is an incredible organisation that harnesses state-of-the-art hydroponics technology, using purpose-built containers that allow us to fully control the farming conditions – in Canary Wharf. What does this mean for your dining experience? Well, if you order M’s Crate To Plate salad as a side, you’ll be dining on leaves grown less than 20 minutes’ walk away. How cool is that?
While on the topic of Canary Wharf, last year we began supporting Canary Wharf’s Biodiversity Action Plan and became a stakeholder in the Canary Wharf Climate Action Working Group. Who knew Canary Wharf was such a vibrant place for sustainability initiatives?
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)
We partnered with The Carbon Group who analysed the life cycle carbon emissions of our signature Argentinian beef to generate a carbon footprint and to assess the environmental impacts of the whole supply chain. The insights gained from the LCA have helped the restaurant group identify opportunities for reducing the carbon footprint and improve our supply chain.
Not For Sale
Not For Sale is one of our most active charity partners, and were extremely proud of what they achieved in 2022. Last year, the projects we invested in as part of M, offset an estimated 213 tonnes of CO2 emissions from our beef. Not only this, but the projects also provide income and employment opportunities for communities at risk of modern-day slavery or trafficking.
Impact Awareness Training for staff
Last year we created a new Impact Awareness training program for all our staff, aimed at educating them on sustainability concepts and principles. This is to ensure everyone in the business is aligned with our sustainability goals.
Sustainable energy use
We have been purchasing 100% renewable electricity for several years, but in 2022 the restaurant group took steps to be more energy-efficient by reducing unnecessary electricity usage during closed times. The Save While You Sleep initiative allowed us to measure and reduce electricity usage during closed time by improving shutdown and opening practices, and identifying inefficient equipment to replace.
BREEAM Certified Building
Our M Newfoundland building is BREEAM certified, achieving 4 out of 6 stars for sustainability in construction. This assesses things like low impact design and carbon emissions reduction, design durability, adaptation to climate change and biodiversity protection.
What’s happening in 2023 at M Restaurants?
Supply Chain Decarbonisation
One of our priorities for 2023 is to engage with our supply chain to enhance the decarbonisation process, with a focus on creating a formal carbon reduction strategy based on the recommendations from the LCA. The restaurant group will also be auditing its entire supplier network to ensure their sustainability priorities are in line with our own.
M is also improving its staff training this year, with a spotlight on waste management, energy efficiency, and food waste reduction. We will be measuring food waste across the restaurants and using our position as signatories of the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap with the Waste and Resources Action Program (WRAP) to support our chefs with food waste reduction goals.
We will continue to support our many charity partners, including Not For Sale. By investing in various transport, reforestation and farming projects has given these communities not only a sustainable existence, but has allowed them to profit from the natural produce of the forest.
The restaurant group will also calculate site-specific carbon footprints to target certain restaurants and set more specific reduction targets. The more targeted a problem is, the easier it is to solve.
That concludes our yearly review and why we made the best steak in London. For more information on our sustainability initiatives, check out our Impact blogs and follow us on our Instagram @mrestaurants. The restaurant group is passionate about sustainability, working with the community, and serving delicious meat.