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Best Practices in Sustainability at Foodservice

foodservice energyWater efficiency, use of green building materials and HVAC systems play a role in sustainability in the foodservice supply chain, according to the 36-page “Sustainability in the Food Service Environment” report developed by IFMA Foundation and ARAMARK.

Responsible procurement of sustainable foods, as well as local purchasing, are other factors for foodservice firms to consider.

Food preparation is the leading source of energy consumption in the industry, at 35 percent. That is followed by HVAC (28 percent), sanitation (18 percent), lighting (13 percent) and refrigeration (6 percent).

It’s estimated that up to 80 percent of the $10 billion spent in energy at U.S. restaurants is wasted.

To reduce energy use, the report suggests minimizing heat loss and gain by applying window film on south- and west-facing windows. Additionally, it’s recommended to have the icemaker run during off-peak hours at night.

Restaurant owners also can use digital demand controllers to control operation of water heaters, air conditioners, refrigeration equipment and the like. Interrupting operation of these energy loads for 10 to 30 minutes at a time can help lessen energy consumption of the whole building without adversely affecting operations.

The use of CFLs or more efficient T8 and T5 lighting is also recommended.

As one example of a foodservice company putting sustainability into its operations, Kraft Food has adopted 10 all-electric transport refrigeration units. The units should help the company comply with diesel emissions regulations from the California Air Resources Board, according to a press release.

The units, by Aura Systems Inc., have internal power storage, meaning that a diesel engine is not needed to be running while a truck is stopped or waiting to be unloaded, for instance.

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