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Food Services Earn Accolades for ‘Green’ Initiatives

Although the food services industry has been cited in the past for its lack of climate performance improvements, U.S. Foodservice-Los Angeles and Lifespan Catering Services are earning “green” certifications and accolades for their sustainability efforts.

As an example, U.S. Foodservice-Los Angeles recently earned a Green Business Certification from the Institute for Green Business Certification (IGBC). The audit looked at the company’s green initiatives across 10 categories including waste reduction, recycling, reduction in office material usage, purchasing, energy savings, water conservation, pollution prevention, reduction in chemical usage, proper handling of pollutants and reduced emissions.

Some of the facility’s efforts include reducing its fleet’s “idle time” and increasing fuel efficiency, which saves 30,000 gallons of fuel in its service area, and implementing a recycling program that saved the company more than $12,000 in landfill costs.

The company also reduced its energy consumption by using efficient lighting in the warehouse and dock areas and a computerized management refrigeration system, which together save more than 1.1 million watts annually. The facility has also expanded its sustainable product lines. It also uses less shrink wrap to secure products stored in the warehouse.

Other companywide energy-saving efforts include an expansion project at U.S. Foodservice- Kansas City, which includes several energy-efficient measures, and U.S. Foodservice-Atlanta’s shift to biodiesel for its entire delivery fleet, cutting CO2 emissions by nearly 788,000 pounds or about four percent annually.

Across the pond, a year after receiving the ISO 14001 environmental standard certification, UK-based Lifespan Catering Services, which provides 32,000 portions of hospital food each day, has maintained its commitment to carbon footprint reduction, according to a recent report from British Standards Institution (BSI).

BSI gave the caterer high marks for continuing to work toward carbon footprint reduction, including efforts to decrease the amount of red meat and diary products used in its meals, and sourcing more than 80 percent of its ingredients within an 80-mile radius.

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