The National Restaurant Association has debuted a new Conserve website designed to educate restaurateurs about sustainability and how to apply “greener” business practices to save money and help protect the environment.
The site offers blog posts featuring “how-to” information, numerous videos, case studies, best practices and personal accounts of how restaurants can be more sustainable, reduce energy and water consumption, decrease food and other waste, and operate business in environmentally and economically responsible ways.
“Practicing sustainability is no longer a trend, but an important aspect of the restaurant industry’s daily operations,” said Scott DeFife, the NRA’s executive vice president of policy and government affairs. “With this website, we can help restaurateurs increase their efficiency, reduce their use of resources, save money and be environmentally aware. By sharing the experiences, best practices and knowledge of industry leaders who are meeting their sustainability goals, we can help those who are just beginning their own sustainability journeys.”
George McKerrow Jr. of Ted’s Montana Grill, Clarice Turner of Starbucks and Dan Simons of Founding Farmers restaurants, as well as celebrity chefs Rick Bayless, Amanda Freitag and Gale Gand, are just some of the experts sharing their sustainability experiences on the new website.
Conserve program director Jeff Clark said the site’s goal is to engage operators with a tool they can use as a guide moving forward, and refer to it often once they are immersed in their own sustainability plans.
“Restaurant operators are pressed for time, so we wanted to provide accessible, smart, solid information and present it in an entertaining way,” Clark said. “We think this will help operators and their employees understand not only how to practice sustainability, but more importantly, why they should do it at all.”
Laura Abshire, the NRA’s director of sustainability, said sustainability is one of the most talked about topics among restaurateurs and their customers, and becomes more relevant every day.
“Learning through the advice, tools and tips of others in environmentally sound and fiscally feasible ways will help our industry reduce its carbon footprint, make a big impact and see a great return on investment. That is a winning proposition on all fronts.”
Created in 2009, the NRA’s Conserve sustainability program is an education tool that shows restaurateurs how to reduce energy, water and waste, and save money and resources at the same time. More than 230 restaurant locations currently use the program.