A growing percentage of diners are seeking out restaurants that they perceive as “green,” but many have a difficult time locating those restaurants and defining what “green” is. As a result, the Green Restaurant Association (GRA) and Green Seal have been formed to assist diners in connecting with restaurants that share their values and establish guidelines by which restaurants can achieve “green” certification.
For over two decades, GRA has been involved in the greening of the restaurant industry. The organization has identified standards in seven environmental categories including water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable furnishings and building materials, sustainable food, energy, disposables, and chemical and pollution reduction. Points for food procurement are assigned on the basis of whether ingredients are certified organic, humane (free range/cage free, hormone and antibiotic free), and regional (300 miles) or local (100 miles). Association consultants are available to help restaurant operators quantify their impact on the environment and take definitive steps to reduce their footprint. There is also a search function on the website for customers to locate “certified green restaurants” by zip code.
Green Seal was founded in 1989 to establish guidelines for various products and services including construction materials, facility operations, hospitality services, and utilities. Suppliers can use this resource to get their products certified, and restaurant operators can use it to design procurement programs that favor “green” products and “services.”
These programs encourage environmental responsibility and provide the support necessary to achieve it. At Christopher Ranch, we embrace our responsibility as stewards of the environment, and we strive to provide products that support our foodservice partners’ efforts to become green certified. We are proud to be featured on the menus of many certified restaurants, and encourage you to look for the Green Seal or the GRA certification when you dine out to support these sustainable operations.