27 Feb 2019

We’ve joined the Sustainable Palm Oil City Project


Sustainability in business is a huge and complicated topic. A concept I came across recently was that a business is supported by three pillars – people, profit and planet.

‘Success’ as a business means looking after all three; the ‘people’, both within and also those reliant upon the business (and its wider social impact), ‘profit’ i.e. the ability of the business to survive financially and also ‘planet’ – the ecological and environmental impact of our actions. The wisdom being that sacrificing one of these ‘pillars’ will provide only short term benefits (if any) and almost all decisions within the business will have ramifications for all three. As a business with ambitions for the long-term, it’s important that we give attention to all three pillars and keep them as strong as possible!

Restaurants are of course tricky businesses and I won’t try to present Joseph Benjamin as die-hard eco-warriors purely led by lofty ethics. To be frank, we use a dreadful amount of energy, we fly/ship significant amounts of food and drink products in from Europe and, while we’re proud of reducing our use of single use plastics by stopping using drinking straws, we’d rather not dwell too long on how much clingfilm we use each day. The crucial thing is that we’ve started wider conversations within the business to start tackling these issues and are committed to improve.

Back in 2017 we met Chester Zoo and heard all about their project around encouraging the use of only sustainable Palm Oil (more here) to help reduce deforestation and species extinction associated with its production.

We rapidly committed to the Sustainable Palm Oil City project in Chester and are now certified. Our chefs have eliminated non-sustainable palm oil in all recipes (that’s the easy bit, to be honest – we barely used any) and have been busy working with our suppliers to ensure that where palm oil is present in any products, it will be from sustainable sources.

We’re really happy to be able to take a small step towards helping to protect forests and wildlife around the world from the impact of unsustainable agricultural practices.

To read more about Palm Oil and the project in Chester check out our blog post here.