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Corporate Cafeterias Get Energy Efficient

The cafeterias in Silicon Valley’s high-tech companies are finally being made more energy efficient, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

With the exception of data centers, kitchens typically use five times more energy than any other wing of the corporate campus.  But only now are companies working to reduce the kitchen energy.

According to Richard Young, an engineer at PG&E’s Food Service Technology Center in San Ramon, corporations have avoided reforming the kitchens because they’re too complicated and there’s a lack of information. In addition, the U.S. Green Building Council has nothing in its guidelines to determine if a commercial kitchen is efficient.

To remedy this, the Food Service Technology Center has partnered with the council to develop standards for commercial kitchen appliances. Thus far, they’ve standardized energy usage in eight appliances but have twenty-seven more to go.

But there’s more than just the appliances, and some companies have employed innovative techniques to begin greening their cafeterias on their own.  For instance, Google is moving away from disposable cutlery, and Yahoo offers free soda from machines that serve soda in eco-friendly reusable cups, not bottles and cans.  And at Microsoft, ninety percent of its fryer oil is converted into biodiesel, and the rest is used to make soap.

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