Restaurants can reduce their environmental impact and tell their ‘green’ story to consumers by participating in the Green Seal certification program for green restaurants, according to the Rainforest Alliance and the 312 Chicago Restaurant at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show.
According to Green Seal, a non-profit in environmental certification, more than 95 percent of the environmental impact of U.S. restaurants is food. By following the Green Seal guidelines, a restaurant can reduce its overall environmental impact by an average of 75 percent.
“Our life-cycle analysis showed that agricultural production as well as distribution, storage, preparation, and disposal of food represent the vast majority of the impact of an operation. To truly make a difference you have to reduce these impacts,” said Cheryl Baldwin of Green Seal.
Kim Schwenke, Pastry Chef of 312 Restaurant in Chicago, said the restaurant is pursuing Green Seal certification because of the re-assurance it will provide to their customers who are increasingly concerned about sustainability.
More than half of the “Top 20 Trends for 2010” identified in the NRA’s annual chef survey relate to sustainability, said Sabrina Vigilante of the Rainforest Alliance. The organization’s certification of responsibly produced food is one of seven recognized in the Green Seal standard.