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Star Announces Ambition to Operate Net Zero Estate by 2040

  • Managed operator pubs aim for net zero carbon emissions by 2030; leased & tenanted pubs aim for net zero by 2040.

  • £2.2m investment in energy efficiency measures and pilots to kick-start net zero journey in 2023.


HEINEKEN-owned Star Pubs & Bars has announced its ambition to decarbonise its estate of 2,400 pubs by 2040.


The journey to net zero will be a phased approach2. The company will first focus on achieving net zero in its 145 Just Add Talent managed operator pubs, making up its scope 1 & 2 emissions, by 2030. This will be achieved by maximising energy efficiency and switching to renewable energy.


In close partnership with its licensees and suppliers, the company then aims to reach net zero carbon emissions across its 2,255 leased & tenanted pubs, its scope 3 emissions, by 2040. The business will set interim targets to ensure it stays on track to achieve this long-term ambition.


The net-zero ambitions encompass every area of Star’s business from energy use to its pub investment programme, and from food and drink to waste management

and will require the company to work closely with its operators, licensees and suppliers to support them with their own carbon reduction plans


In 2023, Star will kick-start its journey to net zero with a £1.1m investment in rolling out energy efficiency initiatives in 280 pubs3. The programme will start to scale the most effective methods of cutting CO2 emissions identified in a £900,000 pilot in Star’s managed operator pubs last year. 28 different measures will be used, ranging from right sizing cellars and insulation to motion sensor lighting and Fridge Managers (which turn off drinks fridges when no movement is detected behind the bar). The package of measures will be tailored to each pub building and will reduce energy usage by 15% on average. 


In addition, Star is spending a further £200,000 on trials in 2023. These will test technologies such as electric kitchens, solar panels, cellar heat recovery, and heat pumps. 


To maximise the effectiveness of the pilot initiatives, Star Pubs & Bars is taking a rigorous approach to testing. All equipment and measures must pass a desktop evaluation before being trialed in Star’s managed operator sites, where the company has responsibility for utilities and can therefore accurately assess the impact of any changes.


A Sustainability Cabinet of representatives from departments across Star Pubs & Bars will lead the implementation of the company’s sustainability ambitions as well as the annual evaluation of progress.


Says Chris Sladen, Star Pubs & Bars’ Head of Property: “Sustainability is a priority for our business – we can’t win in a world that’s losing. The enormity and complexity of this programme cannot be overestimated; it spans nearly two decades, covers 2,400 unique buildings of all types, sizes and ages, and involves new technologies. We have robust and realistic ambitions embedded in our business that we’re confident will deliver. It will also bring a multitude of benefits to our licensees, decreasing their energy bills and helping them to develop their own sustainability credentials with their customers.