In October 2015 I started, as an employee of the company ‘Klimaatroute’, providing restaurants in Leiden with energy-saving advice on behalf of the council. By using energy more efficiently we can take big steps towards making Leiden more sustainable and reducing the carbon emissions within the Leiden council area.
In the past few months we’ve executed quickscans for one hundred restaurants, hotels and bars in Leiden. We’ve charted where so-called quick wins can be achieved. Every firm was provided with a tailor-made advice, including a cost-benefit analysis. It is often thought that sustainability costs money and doesn’t (directly) lead to positive business outcomes. The fun thing about this project is that we can show business owners how, by using smart measures, they can easily save on costs. Two birds with one stone! Good for the environment and their bank balance.
Many venues in Leiden have already taken steps towards improvement. For example Scarlatti, De La Soul, Re-spons and ‘t Crabbetje have installed LED lighting after receiving our advice. Other businesses have improved their insulation or invested in energy-efficient kitchen appliances and/or water-saving measures based on our reports.
Whilst carrying out the scans, I came across a number of frontrunners that were already very aware of the impact of their business practices on the environment. Good examples are Better Bagels and Logica who, besides the energy aspect, also make very conscious choices concerning their food products. It’s great to see how sustainability is integrated into their business concept.
In the coming year we’ll be actively supporting business owners who want to take steps towards improving their sustainability. With this project we aim to make sustainability as accessible as possible.
There’s a lot of work left to do, but I’m confident that the hospitality sector in Leiden is facing a sustainable future!