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.

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Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)

Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine, Monster.com, About.com Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine, HR.com, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.