Sustainability is still a key initiative for the food service industry based on an article in the Environmental Leader.
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Restaurant Associates (RA), a New York City-based foodservice, restaurant and catering company, have released their free Green Dining Best Practices, packed with recommendations for environmentally friendly foodservice. Covering sustainable food purchasing and dining facility operation, early results at two test RA clients, Random House and Hearst Corporation, show these two sites will save more than $85,000 each year, cut 275 tons of carbon pollution and reduce landfill waste by 60 tons annually.
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. In 2008, the No. 1 trend among chefs was local produce, according to the “What’s Hot” survey.
The best practices recommendations focus on areas of the foodservice and restaurant industry with the biggest environmental impacts, including food purchasing (addressing specific products like meat, produce and seafood), facility operation (improvements in the use of energy, waste, and water), packaging, transportation of food, and the use of toxic cleaning chemicals.
As meeting professionals it is important that we also make menu selections for our participants according to these same practices. Here is the link to the full article. http://www.environmentalleader.com/2009/01/06/restaurants-to-become-greener-offer-more-local-produce-in-2009/