Green Restaurant

Topics: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Green building, Recycling Pages: 6 (1719 words) Published: March 31, 2011
For restaurant operators, healthy dining has been a big focus for many years. Now “going green” and socially responsible marketing are key points of emphasis for restaurateurs and consumers alike. In a recent study published in USA Today, more than 30 percent of respondents said they “would be willing to sacrifice a percentage of their salary in order to work for an environmentally friendly company” (Brooks, 2009). Organic and sustainable product sales have more than doubled since 2000. The list goes on. The restaurant industry consumes almost 2.5 times more energy per square foot than any other commercial type of building. Although we expect capital spending on improvements this year to decline, those with long-term interests are installing energy-efficient equipment, closely monitoring water usage, implementing sustainable systems and integrating efficient waste management practices. Green restaurants have evolved dramatically – and they are just going to get more upscale and offer better quality. Consumer demand for green and environmentally friendly products and services is growing, but is still in the early stages. Green claims are on the rise and every company now positions itself as green and socially responsible. Socially responsible marketing will soon become standard operating procedure for all operators. The restaurant trend is stepping on an eco-friendly path. LEED

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria. LEED is a third-party certification program and a nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: “sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality” (LEED, 2009). There aren’t many restaurants that have attained a LEED certification, which means that the building has been designed and constructed using sustainable, energy efficient, environmentally responsible methods. LEED certified restaurants; the menu is also organic and health-focused. Even if a restaurant doesn’t have one of these hard-to-attain certifications, there have been any special measures taken in design and construction, such as using energy-efficient lighting and appliances, green cleaning methods, or reclaimed or salvaged materials and furniture. Green Restaurant Association

The Green Restaurant Association (GRA) is another ally in foodservice's green efforts. It is a national non-profit organization, which provides services in research, consulting, education, marketing and community organizing. The Green Restaurant Association has a certification process for restaurants based on aspects like water efficiency, sustainable food, disposal methods and chemical and pollution reduction. The GRA recommends many ways companies can kick off sustainable efforts: a)Energy efficiency and conservation: Energy-efficient technologies and conservation practices exist for electricity, HVAC and transportation. b)Water efficiency and conservation: Water-related technologies and practices are available for appliances, equipment and landscaping. c)Recycling and composting: Food waste can be diverted from landfills and made into nutrient-rich soil through the use of composting. d)Sustainable food: Sustainable food products support the long-term maintenance of ecosystems and agriculture. e)Pollution prevention: This is achieved through source reduction, reuse or improving operational...
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