The Green Pub Guide 2023, powered by SmartDispense®, is now in its second year. It is the only guide of its kind and entries are included following rigorous judging.

The aim of the guide is to inspire locals or people away on a break to visit the nearest pub placing great value on adopting sustainable measures. The guide is also designed to encourage other pubs nationwide to take inspiration from the entries and look at ways they can improve and strengthen their own green initiatives.

Due to the importance of this, the judging system is very robust. Earlier this year, pubs across the country were invited to share their eco-credentials and plans for the future. These were then looked over by Heineken SmartDispense® and UKHospitality. UKHospitality is a trade association and a leading voice for hospitality, which champions the interests of the pubs, restaurants, hotels and other venues it represents. This includes more than 740 companies who operate around 100,000 venues within England, Scotland and Wales.

UKHospitality Logo - UKH

The judging criteria follows seven themes with suggested examples below:

Sustainable sourcing of food and drink

  • Utilising local producers and/or in-season produce
  • Kitchen gardens
  • Sourcing beverages from UK suppliers
  • Vegetarian, vegan and plant-based options, or entire menus

Pub The Frog


Reducing energy consumption and green energy use

  • Reducing energy consumption and green energy use
  • Swapping old technology for more energy-efficient options
  • Using a green energy provider
  • Offsetting carbon emissions

Reducing food waste

  • Low-waste or zero-waste menus
  • Using less-common cuts of meat
  • Composting food waste to create organic matter
  • Donating food scraps to local causes

Pub Riverside

Reducing other waste (e.g. packaging)

  • Phasing out plastic packaging for takeaways and leftovers
  • Recycling
  • Using low waste cleaning products

Education of staff and customers

  • Enrolling staff in relevant courses or training modules
  • Informing customers of sustainability measures
  • Including sustainability messaging on menus
  • Detailing sustainable efforts on websites and social media


Pub The Boathouse

Implementation of systems to enhance sustainability measures

  • A sustainability vision with measurable + time-bound objectives
  • An annual sustainability report that is visible to the public
  • A mission statement

Supporting information

  • Recycled or upcycled furniture and décor
  • Available space for community grassroots initiatives
  • Staff and management involvement in green initiatives
  • Future plans (these must be measurable and time-bound)

Judges score each of these sections out of five on a judging matrix with five being the highest and demonstrating industry best practice. One is the lowest and defined as Poor/No Practice or Initiatives.

Those entering to be included in the guide can also include images and supporting documents. Claims made by the pubs of their credentials must be substantiated with evidence or caveated where appropriate. They should also be in-keeping with the new Green Claims Policy created by Heineken.