It is possible to reduce waste and consumption in the food industry, as many already know. For skeptics or those seeking advice, tips based on a survey by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Restaurant Associates were released June 23.
EDF and Restaurant Associate’s Green Dining Best Practices consist of objective, science-based ways for management and chefs to make smart choices regarding parts of the foodservice and restaurant industry with the largest environmental impact, such as purchasing food, utility use and waste management, packaging, transportation of food, and the use of toxic cleaning chemicals. Restaurant Associates is a subsidiary of Compass Group, a leading foodservice provider.
For example, the measures suggest purchasing meat and dairy products that are free of antibiotics and produced locally, promoting bottle-less beverages, using energy efficient appliances, limiting the use of toxic cleaning chemicals, and using washable, reusable serviceware.
The Green Dining Best Practices were tested by two RA clients, Random House and Hearst Corp., showing significant yields for reducing pollution and waste related to the dining industry. The groups found that following Best Practices at these locations translated into saving $85,000 per year and reducing carbon pollution by 275 tons and landfill waste by 60 tons annually.
Restaurant Associates will implement these best practices in all 110 of their facilities nationwide and has plans for the Green Restaurant Association to audit and certify those efforts by 2011.
EDF is dedicated to working with corporations to take the environment into account and develop transformations at the sector level. It partnered first with McDonalds in the 1990s to reduce packaging waste. EDF has also worked with Compass Group to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture and to improve fish farming practices.