Award sponsored by Estrella Damm

The Sustainability Award



The Sustainability Award

Sustainability has been at the heart of Pensons' ethos since the restaurant, located on the Netherwood Estate on the Herefordshire-Worcestershire border, first opened its doors four and a half years ago.

The team is dedicated to finding more sustainable ways of working, and while they admit they still don’t have all the answers, their commitment to experimentation and coming up with creative solutions to help solve complex issues is to be applauded.

One classic example has been the creation of its own on-site laundry, a clever and effective initiative that helped Pensons earn this year’s Sustainability Award. Following analysis that showed that the restaurants’ laundry service was not only demanding high energy use, high water consumption and the use of chemical detergents, but also required a 160-mile weekly round trip, the restaurant decided to take the matter of laundry into its own hands.

Its new on-site laundry is housed in a re-purposed existing building in which was installed A+++ washing machines and driers, as well as facilities for air-drying. These are powered by photovoltaic solar panels on the roof, which provide all the clean energy required to power the laundry operations and some excess for use across the business.

Water efficiency was also a priority. Pensons captures and stores rainwater on-site, which is then filtered and provides the bulk of the water required for the washers. Non-toxic, bio-degradable, phosphate- and bleach-free detergent is used on all laundry to limit chemical use.

The results have been impressive. The positive impact of the laundry includes avoiding a 160-mile weekly round trip to the previous laundry, which is calculated to save 8,300 miles and 15,000 kg of CO2 every year. In addition, the washers, dryers and irons use 6,370 kwh per year generated entirely from on-site solar panels, saving 1,485kg of CO2 annually. The washing machines are the most efficient on the market but still use 2,000 litres of water a week. However, thanks to Penson’s rainwater collection, 75% of this comes from collected grey and rainwater.

“Not only does the development of an on-site laundry have significant environmental benefits – that Pensons have measured and quantified – but it shines a light on the growing issue of water scarcity and has even created a new employment opportunity,” says Juliane Caillouette Noble, managing director at The Sustainable Restaurant Association, which judged this year’s award.

“This initiative demonstrates the importance of taking a holistic and creative approach to sustainability to find solutions that work for your business.”