RESOURCES: Green Dining Best Practices for Improving Environmental Performance, Customer Satisfaction and Economic Benefits

Dispatch from SSC Intern Emilia Pramova

Eating out has proved to be one of our favourite pass-times but do we ever think about the impact that this habit has on the environment? The usual practices in producing, transporting and preparing food rely on dangerous chemicals, create considerable waste, use vast amounts of energy, and consume ever-shrinking supplies of wild seafood. The demand for sustainable food choices is increasing exponentially and this presents a golden opportunity for businesses in the sector.

Fortunately, dining managers now have an incredible opportunity to improve the environmental footprint of the food they serve and the restaurants they operate by exploring the Green Dining Best Practices, developed in partnership by the Environmental Defense Fund and Restaurant Associates.

Green Dining Best Practices encompasses a comprehensive set of cost effective, science-based recommendations for the food service and dining industry. Monitored applications of the best practices have shown measurable environmental improvement, improved customer satisfaction, and cost savings at participating facilities. The Best Practices fall into various key categories such as meat-dairy-eggs, produce, transport, bottled beverages, cooking procedures, waste and cleaning chemicals.

In addition to providing this valuable resource, the Environmental Defense Fund challenges companies to take the No Net Cost Challenge.


This concept recognizes that some Green Dining Best Practices cost extra, but others lead to significant savings. By using the savings to pay for any added costs, companies can deploy the widest range of environmentally friendly best practices in their facilities – yielding significant environmental benefits and boosting customer appreciation at No Net Cost.

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