Baking cakes, not the planet: Our approach to Sustainability.
Baking Cakes, Not the Planet
Here are the ways we’re making Lola’s a more sustainable organisation
We’ve all got to live on planet earth, and so we all have a responsibility to take care of it. That’s why, at Lola’s, we’re committed to being as sustainable as we possibly can be in order to reduce the impact that our bakery has on the planet. Where possible we will strive to have a positive impact for future generations. We are in awe of the work that Sir David Attenborough has done, and we continue to be driven by his values of working with nature for a greener future.
Whilst we recognise there is so much more that we can do, we wanted to share some of the things we’ve already started doing:
We ensure that all of our cupcakes and cake boxes are recyclable, and we’re working on making sure that we have 100% plastic free packaging. What’s more, our packaging is recycle friendly and can be easily separated and processed at plants. Often this is half the battle, as many recyclable packaging is too complex to separate and ends up at landfill. You’ll also find messaging on our packaging confirming its origin, along with instructions to separate plastic from card where present.
Lead the Charge
We got our first fully electric van back in November 2018, and we’ve been working on replacing our whole fleet with these electric vehicles to make sure that our cake deliveries don’t have a hefty carbon footprint attached. So far, a quarter of the Lola’s fleet is zero emissions thanks to the solar panels on the roof of the vans which power the fridges inside! Our goal at Lola’s is to have a full zero emissions fleet by 2025.
All of our packaging is 100% recyclable
The majority of our packaging is produced on the outskirts of London,
reducing its delivery mileage to its end destination, and our packaging supplier is committed to sourcing board from sustainable sources. Where we are required to import things from overseas, a priority is to ensure its come by sea or rail,
as opposed to a far more polluting transportation by air.
Our milkshake cups are compostable, so take it home and get digging. Lastly, a re-usable tote bag will be available soon, which is made in the UK.
You can also get your hands on a Lola’s reusable metal straw, because we all know that plastic straws are almost never recycled. So now you can drink a Lola’s milkshake guilt free!
Reuse and Save
We also sell gorgeous cake tins (as an alternative to throw away boxes) and if you bring back a tin to our stores to refill, we’ll give you 10% of your entire order as a thank you for helping look after the planet.
Our carts found in the underground are produced in Sheffield and use a recycled plastic worktop and low voltage equipment to reduce energy consumption. Digital screens have been phased in, as a replacement to paper menu boards, that often needed replacing using more energy, ink and resources than are consumed currently.
Waste made Beautiful
All of our stores are designed and built in the UK. In our Selfridges London store you’ll also find our seating is actually made from recycled yoghurt pots, produced by Smile Plastics in London. Their mission is to change people’s perceptions around waste through innovation and to unlock the hidden potential in recycling and the unexpected beauty of scrap.
Blue Sky Thinking
We are currently working on a pioneering project to power our first kiosk entirely from solar power. Working in partnership with a very supportive TFL, we are looking to launch the project in 2021. When visiting our store, you’ll notice a bank of solar arrays, keeping us cool in the shade, which will help power our lighting, tills and fridge system. Heck, we’ll even let you charge up your cycle/scooter or device if we’ve got enough power to go around. This project is taking place at London Blackfriars where in the summer the sun is really in abundance.
Our Lola’s collection lockers have been a great way to collect your treats in a more environmentally friendly way. Because the lockers can hold multiple orders, that means our delivery drivers are travelling less miles on the roads and therefore creating less emissions. Also, our lockers have individual refrigerated compartments meaning no power is wasted if a compartment is empty, using the latest Peltier cooling technology.
Our bakery and online store ‘bake to order’ which ensures no ingredients are wasted. Any left-over cupcakes that we may have are decorated and sent out with our grocery orders, spreading Lola’s Love. Any left-over food from our grocery business is left in our teams common areas, ready to be made into something delicious.
Too Good to Go
Since all of our cupcakes are baked fresh, we don’t keep any cupcakes in our stores overnight to sell them the next day. So now, via the app Too Good To Go, you can buy all of our leftover cupcakes at a discounted price - over two-thirds off! Combating food waste one cupcake at a time!
We’ve partnered with Refill UK to make 11 of the Lola’s locations designated refill stations. Just ask a member of staff and we’ll refill your water bottles for free - so make sure you stay hydrated!
When ordering a coffee in one of our stores, did you know that it’s a blend specifically roasted for Lola’s by the inmates at HM Feltham Young Offenders Institute? Inside Ground work alongside the young adults to train and develop skills that can be used in the coffee and hospitality industry on their release. Profits are then directed towards partnered organisations to further assist in rehabilitation on the outside.
We’ve started embarking on the journey of powering our office using solar power. In the near future all our printers, screens and PC’s will be run from the sun, as we harvest energy throughout the day. It’s not been an easy journey, convincing our landlord we’d like to run off-grid, but we’re sure it will be worth it, let’s just hope the sun shines enough to keep us going, and we can inspire those around us in West London to take the plunge as well.
Being honest an up-front about our challenges is important, and we know we’ve got so much more to do. Sadly, we consume around 1000 litres a week of diesel to deliver our cakes, and our ovens are very juicy, and require lots of energy to keep the plates warm all day to make those cupcakes rise. As our journey into solar develops, we hope to generate enough energy to keep the ovens off grid very soon. Piping bags are produced from plastic, and many of our ingredients come in containers and pots that are only suitable for re-cycling. We are continuing on our journey to challenge our suppliers to find better ways to send us raw ingredients that are planet friendly. On a positive note, all our sugar, flour & butter come in paper bags that are easily broken down & recycled.
Having recently re-furbished some of our spaces, we have installed newer lower energy air temperature-controlled systems, as well as LED lighting, whilst these may be small steps, they are working to reduce our power consumption, and every little really does help. We are also introducing a new food waste compactor.
We’re doing our best to make Lola’s HQ as sustainable as possible. So we’ve installed special air conditioning units that collect the condensation water, which is then used for applications around the building.
Tell us your thoughts
If you’ve got an idea on how we could be more sustainable then get in touch with us here!