F&B Sustainability Council in Singapore: The Loco Group ropes in restaurant allies like The Lo & Behold Group, Spa Esprit, and many more
Sustainability in Singapore have lately been garnering itself a notorious rep. Notorious because of green-washing cases with brands loosely throwing the buzzword around — in hopes to boost their profit margin. But there have been real, exemplary examples that have fallen through the cracks — for instance — The Loco Group who achieved a milestone that is set to steer the restaurant scene in Singapore towards a better, hopeful direction. In 2019, the group established carbon neutrality, after successfully off-setting 100% of its carbon emissions from direct restaurant options through the purchase of verifiable carbon credits all from a forest conservation project.
It's a feat if you think about it — especially in Singapore. The Loco Group is the first restaurant group to add that to its name — better than any Michelin star if we could say so ourselves. The best part is, they aren't stopping at just that. Well at least, they recognised it wasn't enough to do it alone. Hence, they have roped in the some of the other major players in the industry to form a powerful alliance — now known as the F&B Sustainability Council.
A total of ten of them to be exact: Lifestyle companies like The Lo & Behold Group, Spa Esprit Group, Grand Hyatt Singapore, restaurant and bar operators like The Cicheti Group, Grain Traders, 13% Gastro Wine, The Providore, and beverage distributors like Proof & Company, Trouble Brewing, and The Better Food Distribution Co.
In light of past challenges from the past two years as a solo F&B group, The Loco Group spearheads this newly formed council to meet greater sustainability targets, while supporting one another through pooling their resources, sharing best practices, and brainstorming challenges as a stronger collective. In light of recent events surrounding the devastating bushfires in Australia, we see this shared, heartening alliance in our F&B scene poised as a beaming source of hope.
At the helm and heart of this project from day zero is The Loco Group's general manager, Will Leonard. "2019 saw us stepping up to the plate and undertaking several measures to quantify our carbon footprint and set reduction procedures in place. It was through this process that we faced several gridlocks simply by trying to operate as sustainably as possible. High costs attached to food composting, ineligibility for government grants due to the size of our business etc, these were similar issues bemoaned by many of our industry peers. The idea then to band together to use our collective scale to help achieve our goals came quite naturally," says the Australian native.
In addition to that, The Loco Group will buddy up with tech-enabling reforestation start-up GreenSteps Group to offset its carbon emissions in 2020. The plan is to invest in a metrics-drive, tree-planting exercise as part of a five year project to safeguard the old growth tropical forests in Kijani, Uganda. A portion of select menu items, including a minimal-waste "green" cocktail, will go towards the investment. For every 80 cents for unlimited still and sparkling water (filted through an in-house filtration system), 100% of the proceeds will also go towards that cause.
As consumers, we'd say it's the least we could do to be a part of the grand scheme of things.
The council is open for any Singapore-based F&B business willing to subscribe to the objectives and vision of the council, simply by starting with their own sustainability goals. Interested businesses can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.