Is Your Foodservice Program a Sustainable One?

Rate your organization's implementation of sustainability food practices. Check all that apply.



___ Base menus on seasonal availability.
___ Cook recipes from scratch.
___ Purchase food locally, even directly from farmers.
___ Socially focused, sustainably produced and Fair Trade ingredients are a priority.
___ Only certified environmentally friendly cleaning supplies are used.


___ Purchase food and supplies in bulk whenever possible and minimal use of pre-packaged items.___ Minimal, if at all, use of disposable service and/or use compostable service ware.


___ Maximize the opportunities to use tools and equipment in the processing and preparation of fresh, whole ingredients.
___ Method and style of service reflect a fresh, made-to-order experience.


___ Closely monitor and manage all waste.
___ Kitchen design, storage, cooking/heating and food preparation arrangements include adequate equipment and space for scratch cooking.
___ Evaluate and adjust energy consumption to maximize efficiency.
___ Evaluate and adjust water consumption to maximize efficiency.


___ Communicate with your customers so they fully understand and support sustainable and environmental practices.
___ Have customers participate in the development of sustainability initiatives.


___ Train staff with the proper skill set to best implement maximum sustainability practices. Staff are capable of teaching the program to others.
___ Foodservice staff education and development are a regular part of the service program, especially in regards to sustainable food theory and technique.


___ Management has the skills to grow and enhance the sustainability program to its highest levels.
___ Management education and development are a regular part of the foodservice program, especially in regards to sustainable food theory and technique.


___ Your institution's administration understands and fully supports the importance and relevance of sustainability and its impact, and gives your program its highest priority.
___ Establish and follow comprehensive institutional policies and procedures regarding sustainability to ensure successful implementation.


___ All institutional stakeholders commit to and are responsible for ensuring the success of your sustainability program.
___ External stakeholders of the institution (community, business leaders and the public) are committed to the success of your sustainability program.


___ Implement a comprehensive internal marketing strategy to ensure support for the sustainability practices.


___ Internal and external education programs and curricula are available to all stakeholders to ensure the implementation and understanding of sustainability practices both in day-to-day institutional processes as well as in everyday life.


___ Develop and utilize financial management systems to measure cost impacts from improvements proposed and implemented into the program.


Let's see how your program scored.

OUT OF 26: ______________

0 – 5: Considerable effort is necessary to develop an effective sustainable food system.
6 – 10: Some effort has been demonstrated; additional areas remain to be addressed.
11 – 15: Your program is halfway there, but there's still some room for improvement.
16 – 20: You have demonstrated a firm commitment to sustainable food systems and methods. Refinements are needed.
21 – 26 Your foodservice program is a sustainability champion!

Checklist courtesy of Sustainable Food Systems, LLC, Wallingford, Conn.


Next up: Developing a Green Plan of Action

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