At Heart with Smart Group we believe in whole person development providing opportunities for our people to develop not just their technical skills but their character. We partner with a number of expert organisations, including Heartstyles.

We also invest in work-based education as the cornerstone to professionalising the hospitality industry and more broadly, enabling social mobility. We offer qualifications from Level 2 – Entry Level Apprenticeships through to MBAs.


In-house Education.

We have been building our expertise in the field of work-based education over many years, it takes real time and leadership commitment to manage professional programmes in-house and we are now fully accountable for the quality of face-to-face and online learning that we deliver. Like a school, we are routinely audited by Ofsted and we are currently graded ‘Good’ and on a pathway towards ‘Outstanding’.

CMI Confidence

Higher Level Education.

In 2016 we were very proud to partner with Manchester Metropolitan University and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) to develop the UK’s first Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship in Hospitality, we have since extended our University network to provide UK wide access to a range of higher level qualifications up to the level of MBA. Helping to build confident leaders with CMI.

Our Chief People and Marketing Officer, Kath Austin, is a board director for CMI Wales. You can see her here talking about the benefits of apprenticeships for social mobility.


Passionate Learners.

We see first-hand our students flourishing in the work-based learning environment with about 75% of our apprentices progressing on to the next role within the organisation and/or the next level qualification. Every year we have an increasing number of Restaurant learner-leaders who are passionate about studying whilst nurturing the next generation and as a result, we have a stable operation that benefits from market leading retention and operational productivity.

In 2023, we received validation from Science Based Targets initiative for our greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets

Progress we've made so far.


We have purchased 100% renewable energy since 2015 and installed LED lighting across our full estate.


99% of all our waste is diverted from landfill (in sites where we manage waste collection)

Supply chain engagement.

We are prioritising supplier collaboration and regular measurement to focus our efforts on emission reductions where it is most important. We are building strategic relationships and joint plans with our key suppliers, working with them to reduce their, and our, impact – across the full value chain.

The next steps in our reduction-first decarbonisation journey

Overall Net-Zero Target

We have committed to reaching net-zero GHG emissions across the value chain by 2040.

Near-Term Targets

We've committed to reducing absolute scope 1 GHG emissions 74% by 2030 from a 2019 base year, continuing active annual sourcing of 100% renewable electricity through 2030 and reducing scope 3 GHG emissions 55% per meal by 2030 from a 2019 base year.

Long-Term Targets

We've committed to reducing absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 94% by 2040 from a 2019 base year and reducing scope 3 GHG emissions 97% per meal within the same timeframe.