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Commercial Kitchens

Volume 449: debated on Monday 24 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what research his Department has conducted into (a) carbon emissions from commercial kitchens and (b) means to reduce such emissions; (84943)

(2) what plans his Department has to encourage the use of technology to reduce carbon emissions from commercial kitchens.

The information available on carbon emissions from commercial kitchens is currently very limited.

Two scoping studies have been carried out for DEFRA which indicate that carbon emissions from non-domestic cooking equipment are somewhere between 2.2 million and 6 million tonnes of carbon per annum. Further work is being carried out by the Government’s Market Transformation Programme (MTP) to refine these estimates. The MTP estimates that the refrigeration equipment used in commercial kitchens produces a further 1.4 million tonnes of carbon per annum.

The Government are working with industry, through the Carbon Trust and the MTP, to reduce these emissions. For example, the Hotel and Catering International Management Association manages a programme on behalf of the Carbon Trust which offers free energy saving advice to the sector.

We are also working to encourage manufacturers to improve the efficiency of their goods by developing agreed test methodologies, performance standards and benchmarks which will enable the relative energy efficiency of these appliances to be measured. This process is complete for commercial refrigeration equipment but is at an early stage for commercial ovens.

If all existing catering equipment were replaced by best practice1 equipment, we estimate that carbon emissions from commercial kitchens could be reduced by 18 per cent. Substantial additional carbon savings can be made through management and behavioural measures.

1 The top 10 per cent. of equipment, currently on the market, in terms of energy efficiency.