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National Restaurant Association - Sustainability products tapped for 2015 innovation awards

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Sustainability products tapped for 2015 innovation awards

Manufacturers of efficient equipment that reduces food waste, energy and water usage are among the winners of the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 Kitchen Innovations Awards.

The KI awards focuses on trends and topics, like sustainability, that have a positive effect on foodservice operations. A total of 23 equipment and technologies providers were recognized this year for innovations that increased productivity and benefited restaurants.

This year’s winners include:

  • Champion® Industries Inc., for its Food Waste Reduction System, which uses repurposed gray water as its primary water supply and reduces daily water consumption by 20 percent to 30 percent
  • Ecolab®, for its Syncra™ Total Hand Hygiene System, an automated water-and-soap delivery system that uses 50 percent less water than traditional hand washing tools
  • EnviroPure Systems Inc., for its EnviroPure Ozone Recirculation System, which uses grey water extracted from food waste to facilitate the grinding and digestion of waste and eliminates the need for adding fresh water to the anaerobic organic digester. The company says it saves up to 400 gallons of water per day.
  • Hobart, for its FT1000 Flight-Type Dish Machine, a ventless flight-type dish machine that reduces water, energy, labor and chemical expenditures
  • True Food Service Equipment  Inc., for its Hydrocarbon Natural Refrigerant Reach-In Refrigerators/Freezers that combine state-of-the-art compressors and components with energy efficient HydroCarbon Natural Refrigerant for a reduced environmental impact

Laura Abshire, the NRA’s director of sustainability, said she is encouraged to see so many of this year’s winners recognized for environmentally responsible products.

“These manufacturers are presenting real-world solutions that can help restaurateurs become more sustainable,” she said. “Creating equipment and technology that reduces food waste and conserves energy and water will make practicing sustainability so much more manageable. Educating our members about sustainability is a top priority for the Association and its Conserve program, which strives to show restaurants how to operate more efficiently.”

Award recipients are selected by a panel of industry experts composed of food-facilities consultants, multiunit restaurant executives and design experts. This year’s judges included Kathleen Seelye, managing partner at Ricca Newmark Design; Steve Otto, director of capital equipment purchasing for Darden Restaurants; Martin Cowley, senior manager of design and standards for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts; and Aaron LaMotte, director of performance interiors for contract foodservice company Sodexo Inc.

The winners and their products will be showcased at the Kitchen Innovations Pavilion at the 2015 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, May 16-19, in Chicago. For more information about the KI program and all of this year's award recipients, visit Restaurant.org/Show/KI.

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