Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Restaurant Associates (RA) recently unveiled their Green Dining Best Practices, which is a comprehensive set of science-based recommendations for environmentally friendly foodservice. In a National Restaurant Association survey of trends for 2009, environmentally friendly equipment and sustainable practices topped chefs’ lists of hot trends and top cost-savers.
The Green Dining Best Practices, which is available free of charge from Environmental Defense Fund web site, focuses on aspects of the foodservice and restaurant industry with the biggest environmental impacts, including food purchasing (addressing specific products like meat, produce and seafood), packaging, transportation of food, facility operation (improvements in the use of energy, waste, and water), and the use of toxic cleaning chemicals. The best practices provide clear, objective, science-based advice for dining managers and chefs to make smart choices in their kitchens to improve environmental performance across the board. The practices have been tested by two RA clients – Random House and Hearst Corporation – early results will save over $85,000 each year at the two sites, cut 275 tons of carbon pollution and reduce landfill waste by 60 tons annually, among other environmental benefits.
Restaurant Associates has committed to rolling out the green dining best practices in all 110 of their facilities nationwide, and has engaged the Green Restaurant Association to audit and certify those efforts by 2011. The company has also committed to increasing the amount of sustainable seafood on its menus, offering clients “bottleless” water dispensers as an alternative to bottled water, reducing the carbon footprint of the meats and proteins they serve 20 percent by July 2010 and also reducing energy use in their facilities.
© 2009, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.