The Leiden energy scan for the catering industry is a success. Upon the request for such a scan from our foundation (Duurzame Horeca Leiden), the town council decided in 2015 to finance a free scan for a hundred restaurants and bars within the municipality. After the provision of scan reports per venue, a full year of monitoring was included for the participating establishments. This has resulted in a yearly reduction of 93 tons of CO2-emission in Leiden in 2017.
On request of Duurzaamuiteten, Leiden has funded this thirty-thousand-euro project. Our foundation proposed the young Amsterdam-based firm Klimaatroute as contractor. This company had performed well with similar scans in the bigger Dutch cities. The project in Leiden commenced late 2015, and was finished this year just before summer.
Nearly a hundred thousand euros
The project goal was to induce at least half of the participants to take energy reduction measures. This has succeeded. Fifty-five participants invested a total of €96,623.- in energy saving equipment. Over twenty other participants are planning to follow some of the advices later on.
Restaurant De Klok, in the Leiden Kloksteeg, en Visbrasserie De Poort in the old citygate Zijlpoort, are two of the biggest investors. They purchased many energy efficient kitchen appliances, which reduced their yearly CO2-emissions considerably.
No AC or outdoor heaters
“Klimaatroute addressed us at just the right time”, admits Marvin van der Bent, co-owner of De Klok. “We had taken over La Cloche early 2016 and we had inherited all of their old appliances. Of course we could not replace everything immediately, but the scan did help us. For example, we now have a dishwasher which only uses half a litre of warm water per wash as opposed to ten litres for the old one. We also bought a hyperefficient oven, as well as an energysaving heating boiler, cooler, and new motor for the extractor hood.”
Van der Bent and his co-worker, chef-de-cuisine Lars Mieremet, also got rid of their air conditioning system. “And we don’t want an outdoor heating system, such as many Leiden restaurants still have. We have blankets on our outdoor seats.”
De Klok has currently reduced its CO2-emission by 1.8 tons.
Environmental awareness as a habit
Bob Meijer is co-owner of Visbrasserie De Poort. He is one of the entrepreneurs that supported the scan request by Duurzame Horeca Leiden from the start. “Such a scan makes you think more consciously about how you run your business. This scan has generated more environmental awareness in Leiden entrepeneurs. Such awareness should become a habit, because a habit doesn’t take time and energy. For me it also spread to my home situation. There I also make more environmentally friendly decisions.”
At De Poort, one of the measures taken by Meijer was replacing the cooling systems in the bar and the kitchen. He also installed a water efficient rinsing system. “It’s an ongoing process. No one can throw out all of their gear at once. But thanks to the scan, you start to think about it. And of course it’s also financially attractive. In the end you save money on energy and water.” De Poort produces 2.7 tons of CO2 less per year thanks to the energy scan.
Most of the scan participants opted, understandably, for the easiest investment, LED-lighting. Replacing old lamps by LED lights pays off within three years and yields a relatively high CO2-reduction. In the bigger establishments, this reduction can sometimes amount to 3 tons, with a matching high cost reduction.
Entrepreneurs who chose other measures, like sensors on taps and lighting, or efficient kitchen equipment, invested proportionally more and therefore saved money at a lower rate. Though financially less profitable, these measures are very important too, because professional kitchens are huge energy burners. A number of scan participants are considering investing in cleaner equipment as soon as their budget allows for it.
So officially, the scan project has ended. But we view the 93 ton CO2-reduction as a step on the way. Our foundation will re-evaluate the situation in 2018. Hopefully, the reduction of CO2 production per year will then have reached a new high.