James Dawson balances economic realities with his company’s commitment to sourcing sustainable wines and food. The founder and chief executive of Humble Grape shares his philosophy

Sustainability, broadly, rests on three pillars: caring for the environment; our people; and our business. This triad shapes our decisions in a landscape shadowed by economic difficulties.

Caring for the environment: the hospitality sector takes a toll on nature, and we’re determined to mitigate this. Recycling waste at our venues is just the beginning. Rejecting polystyrene packaging is a significant change, avoiding unnecessary carbon emissions and preventing non-recyclable waste accumulation. Our tree project (over 10,000 trees planted) echoes this commitment, nurturing the environment that sustains us.

Caring for our people: fair prices for our producers bolster sustainability. Within our walls, our employees champion our ethos, educated and incentivised to participate in sustainability projects. Vigilance ensures authenticity in our sustainable products, while charitable initiatives extend our responsibility to the community.

Caring for our business: profitability is crucial. Our commitment to sustainability complements financial viability. Remaining profitable empowers us to advocate for a sustainable future.

Sustainable food practices: our dedication extends to our food offerings. Partnerships with carbon-negative suppliers like Cheese Geek align with our holistic approach. We prioritise free-range and organic meats, considering their impact on flavour and ethics. Local, seasonal ingredients support our community and enhance dining experiences.

Humble Grape’s executive chef’s ‘green manager’ qualification demonstrates commitment. Tangible results include a 20 per cent water usage reduction since 2021 and a pledge to decrease electricity usage by 10 per cent.

Taste and impact: sustainability elevates flavour. Sustainably nurtured vegetables derive richer nutrition and taste. Free-range organic meats offer leaner, ethically aligned options. Every dish embodies thoughtfulness, ingredient respect and the pursuit of excellence.

Amid economic challenges, our triad of principles remains steadfast. Sustainability’s intricate web – environmental stewardship, social responsibility and business viability – shapes our journey. Today’s challenges refine our resolve, influencing the world we leave for generations to come.

James Dawson is the founder and chief executive of Humble Grape