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sustainability

  • Case Study: Duke’s Alehouse & Kitchen, Crystal Lake, Ill.

    For Zak Dolezal, general manager and chef at Duke's Alehouse & Kitchen, an upscale yet casual gastropub in Crystal Lake, Ill., going green was as much a personal choice as a professional one.

  • What I Learned by “Going Green”

    Years after the first push for sustainability hit the foodservice and hospitality industry, operators are seeing a real return on their initial investments and some maturing philosophies about what it means to be green.

  • Hennepin County Medical Center Takes its Green Practices to the Community

    Who says charity and philanthropic work don't have anything to do with being green or sustainable? In fact, they have everything to do with this more conscious way of running a business.

  • Four Mistakes to Avoid When Going Green

    Entrepreneur Mark Samuels of Nimbus Eco shares his thoughts on how restaurants and other commercial foodservice operators can serve their customers responsibly.

  • What’s Happening with Waste Management

    In theory, waste management seems like a pretty simple concept in the foodservice industry: make the most effective and efficient use of ingredients, labor and other resources to minimize what the operation tosses in the trash. What could be easier, right?

  • Case Study: Reed College, Portland, Ore.

    Sometimes it pays to invest in green. Take, for example, Reed College, which received a gold certificate in the City of Portland's Sustainability at Work program. Reed received the program's highest honor, in recognition of the college's energy-saving, waste-saving and local food-sourcing initiatives.

  • Maximizing Energy Efficiency: Why Maintenance and Proper Use Matter

    Purchasing energy-efficient equipment is a significant investment. Equipment maintenance along with operator training to avoid misuse and mistakes are two key steps operators must take to protect upfront costs and maximize return on investment.

  • Harvest Market: Where Green and Health Intersect

    Imagine being able to build a completely green restaurant from scratch with a decent budget and endless creative freedom. That's the dream executive chef Justin Johnson was presented with when the 90-bed Watertown Regional Medical Center in Watertown, Wis., decided to completely overhaul its 40-year-old cafeteria and kitchen.

  • Understanding Green’s Triple Bottom Line

    The terms "C Corp" and "S Corp" tend to be pretty common in today's business discussions. Conversations about the B Corp, though, tend to be less common. B Corp certification is for businesses looking to demonstrate the bottom-line results of their environmental, social and financial sustainability efforts. Basically, achieving B Corp certification enables businesses to prove that they walk the talk when it comes to sustainability.

  • Green Case Study: Berea College

    The Berea College Dining Program, a Sodexo-run operation has proactively stepped up efforts to prevent, not just divert, food and nonfood waste to landfills.

  • Waste Diversion and Prevention

    When it comes to food waste diversion from landfills, the landscape is changing dramatically, primarily due to state and municipal regulations, according to Andrew Shakman, president and CEO of LeanPath. We caught up with Shakman to hear his thoughts about how operators are engaging in waste diversion — and waste prevention too.

  • Understanding Energy Management Systems

    Although they have been around for a while, energy management systems (EMS) have been slow to catch on in the foodservice community. That may soon change, however, due to a growing number of restaurant chains exploring whether these efficiency tools can help reduce energy consumption.

  • REAL Case Study: W6 Café at Google

    For the Guckenheimer cafés, the certification process was slightly different than the one for independent restaurants. "They have hundreds of recipes in their database, and in some cases where they have buffets, points for portion control may not be viable," Williams says. High-volume operations such as these also have different cooking preparation and equipment needs.

  • Planning for Reducing Energy, Carbon and Waste

    A key component of any sustainable foodservice operation involves saving energy, water and waste as well as reducing carbon footprints. Not only does this benefit the environment, it also makes the business more efficient.

  • Case Study: Croc’s 19th Street Eco-Bistro

    Now in its 20th year, Croc's 19th Street Bistroin Virginia Beach, Va., is a popular restaurant among tourists, locals and those visiting the nearby convention center. But it has also made huge strides as the first green-focused restaurant in the state, as recognized by the state's tourism department and its Virginia Green program, a self-certifying initiative geared toward conserving the state's natural resources through waste reduction, recycling and energy and water efficiency, among other sustainable efforts. Croc's earned this certification in 2008, a couple years after the restaurant had already set forth on a green plan of

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  • Equipment Maintenance Tips to Promote Energy Efficiency

    Purchasing energy-efficient equipment can lead to, in some cases, dramatic reductions in energy and water costs — that's been proven. But without proper maintenance or operator training, poor performance can easily negate any potential savings. What then is the point of those upfront investments?

  • Academy for Global Citizenship Strives for a Net-Positive Experience

    Sarah Elizabeth Ippel had a vision. In fact, beginning at the ripe age of 23, she spent 2 years pounding on the Chicago Board of Education's doors — figuratively speaking — until they considered her proposal for a green charter school.

  • Green Tip: Water Filtration Systems

    Water filtration systems have improved dramatically over the years, and the range of options for use and types of use have increased, as well.

  • University of Texas, Austin: A Green Case Study

    Four years ago, the University of Texas (UT) at Austin embarked on a complete renovation project of its dining facilities and kitchens. The fourth and final phase, completed last year at Jester Second Floor Dining Room, helped seal the deal on the university's plans to create a more sustainable dining and meal preparation environment for students, faculty and staff.

  • Green Tip: Hot Water Heaters

    With an equipment-wide update to Energy Star qualifications coming down the pipe early next year, the Food Service Technology Center has been actively working on developing specifications for commercial water heaters, a new venture for the industry and for the FSTC.

  • Case Study: The Cheesecake Factory's Solar Installations

    In an effort to reduce the massive amount of energy used to heat water, The Cheesecake Factory enlisted the help of Sun Light & Power, a Berkeley, Calif.-based firm that designs and builds solar panels for companies, to install the light-catching units on its rooftop.

  • Green Tip: Trayless Dining

    Trayless dining took the college foodservice sector by storm a few years ago, just as the sustainability movement began taking shape. Trayless dining means less food waste (because students are not piling on mounds of food they won't end up eating), in addition to potentially less energy and water use (because trays aren't run 24/7 through a flight-type dishmachine).

  • Defining the Sustainable Kitchen

    Some tips from Greg Christian on how to create a sustainable kitchen with the proper equipment.

  • Sustainable Planet, Sustainable Business: Connecting the Food System and Commercial Kitchens of the Future

    The country's move toward a more sustainable food system will impact kitchen design and foodservice equipment specification in the future.

  • Reimagined Lighting (Lighting of the Future)

    Imagine walking into a restaurant or building where an entire wall brings light to a room using a series of panels dim enough to stare at comfortably and sophisticated enough to change colors, display images or even play videos.

  • Specifying Energy-Efficient Ranges

    Ranges have a unique position in the energy efficiency conversation. As it is, there really is no such thing as an "energy-efficient range," per se. In fact, no Energy Star rating exists for ranges and some states don't offer rebates for this equipment. But with the right specification and maintenance, foodservice operators can achieve energy efficiency and savings with their ranges.

  • Saving Energy through Equipment Startup Schedules

    It should be as simple as it sounds. Turn something on when you need it. Turn it off when you don't. Yet for decades kitchen workers have done exactly the opposite. In fact, even the most prestigious of culinary schools have taught future cooks to fire up the grills the moment they walk in the restaurant door, even if service doesn't begin for hours.

  • Bowdoin College’s Comprehensive Sustainability Program

    An independent liberal arts college in Brunswick, Maine, Bowdoin College takes its motto, "The College and the Common Good," to heart in all departments, including and perhaps especially in dining services. Known for high quality that consistently lands it at or near the top of the Princeton Review's annual ranking of best college food, Bowdoin's dining program touts not only great eats but a pacesetting, comprehensive portfolio of sustainability initiatives as well.

  • University of Vermont’s Eco-Ware Reusable Takeout Container Program

    Located in picturesque Burlington, the University of Vermont (UVM) is a leader on many sustainability fronts: One of the first universities to end the sale of bottled water, UVM's Sodexo-operated dining program also touts extensive pre- and post-consumer recycling, trayless dining, composting of food scraps, a student-run organic garden, steadily increasing purchases of locally produced "real" foods, sustainable seafood, biodegradable disposables and a partnership that recycles nearly 200 gallons of used fryer oil into biofuel each month. In early 2011, the school added another important element to its sustainability program: Eco-Ware, a reusable takeout container initiative that, after

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  • Green Tip: Specifying Greener Ice Machines

    Ice machines are a paradoxical bunch. They can be the forgotten workhorse in a kitchen and often come in last on equipment purchasing priorities. But at the same time, they open up incredible opportunities for total-kitchen energy savings because of their improved efficiencies.