Network with sustainability and sourcing professionals to reduce your restaurant’s environmental impact and benefit your consumers and your bottom line.


About the Sustainability Executive Study Group (ESG)

Our Sustainability ESG includes some of the biggest names in sustainability and sourcing in the foodservice industry, sharing what they are doing to improve the environmental footprint in their restaurant businesses. From food sourcing to animal welfare to compostable foodservice packaging in restaurants, our 2019 meeting will be a day of candid conversation about the progress being made in the foodservice industry.

What better way to discover practical best practices, solutions to stubborn problems, or opportunities for advancement than from restaurant leaders in your field? Join us in Washington, DC this September!
New for 2019!
If you are unable to attend the conference in person, we encourage you to join our online session instead. Simply indicate that you are attending the online portion when you register. 

Attendance Policy

Operator registration is open to restaurant operators and those who work in sustainability or nutrition for restaurant or hospitality companies. Product and service providers are allowed to attend only as sponsors. Questions? Contact Jeff Clark, Sustainability Program Director.


Tuesday, September 10

National Restaurant Association Headquarters
2055 L Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036

10 a.m. - 4 p.m.: Optional - Sustainable Beef Workshop 
In a first-of-its-kind workshop, the National Restaurant Association is hosting the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and Animal Agriculture Alliance to help restaurateurs understand the tradeoffs and complexities of beef's environmental footprint. Please indicate if you plan on attending this optional workshop while registering for the Sustainability Conference. 

6 - 8 p.m.: Welcome Reception
Boqueria Restaurant 
1837 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

Wednesday, September 11
National Restaurant Association Headquarters
2055 L Street NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036

8:30 a.m.: Breakfast 
9 a.m.: Welcome

9:15 a.m.: Keynote Presentation 

Learn how trends in foodservice packaging affect our food systems and what restaurateurs should do about it.
Speaker: Keely Wachs, Vice President, Communications and Sustainability, Zume 

10 a.m.: Peer-to-peer discussion on LeanPath and Food Waste Reduction Efforts
Nell Fry, Senior Manager, Sustainability Field Support, Sodexo and Andrew Shakman, Leanpath Founder and CEO
10:45 a.m.: Networking Break 

11:15 a.m.: Power Talk - Restore California: The Perennial Farming Initiative
Learn about the voluntary 1% menu cost to fund agriculture practices that sequester atmospheric carbon. 
Speaker: Anthony Myint, Co-founder, The Perennial 

11:30 a.m.: Trends in Environmental, Social & Governance Investor Advocacy, Risks and Opportunities 
What do investors want to know about your sustainability strategy? This session will highlight key trends in investors' evolving expectations for corporate sustainability and illustrate the business case for proactive engagement with shareholders on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. Hear from Ceres a sustainability organization that works with investors and companies, and then break into small discussion groups to brainstorm opportunities for not only meeting investor expectations, but also capturing competitive advantage.  
Speakers: Brooke Barton, Senior Director, Water & Food Programs, Ceres and Emma Conover, Associate, Water & Agriculture, Ceres

12:15 p.m.: Lunch

12:45 p.m.: Sustainability Business Meeting - Operators Only

2:15 p.m.: Peer-to-peer Discussion on Packaging Issues
Moderator: Deb Friedel, Director of Sustainability, Delaware North 

3 p.m.: Networking Break

3:30 p.m.: Packaging Issues and Policy Discussion
Deb Friedel, Director of Sustainability, Delaware North
Panelists: Lynn Dyer, President, Foodservice Packaging Institute & Nicole Rentz, Legislative Director at Council of the District of Columbia
4:15 p.m.: Power Talk - Putting Forgotten Foods On the Menu
This session will cover planting and bringing to market traditional plants that would otherwise be lost. 
Speaker: Douglas Gayeton, Co-Director, Rediscovered Food Initiative
4:30 p.m.: Closing Remarks



As an added value for our members, the Sustainability Executive Study Group has a Listserv. The Listserv is an effective way to ask your colleagues questions, share news, and contribute to discussions on issues important to professionals in your field. To be eligible, you must work full-time in the field of sustainability (or related-field) for a company that is a restaurant member of the National Restaurant Association. Click here to subscribe.

Once you join the list, simply send your email message to Your message goes to everyone who is subscribed to the list.


National Restaurant Association Member* $499         
National Restaurant Association Non-Member $749
*Not sure if you're on the company roster? Contact to ensure your name and email address is tied to your company roster to receive the member rate.

Operator cancellation policy: Cancellations received by July 17, 2019 will be fully refunded. Requests received between July 18 and August 14, 2019 will receive a 50% refund. No refunds will be granted after August 14, 2019.

Conference Location

The conference is being held at:

The National Restaurant Association Headquarters
2055 L Street, NW #700
Washington, DC 20036

A hotel room block has been setup at:

Kimpton Hotel Palomar
2121 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Reservation Phone: 1-877-866-3070
Room rate: $299/night plus tax
Room block closes: Monday, August 12, 2019

Registration for the conference does not guarantee you a room reservation; you are still required to make your own reservation via your registration confirmation email. Please register for the conference before you make your room reservation.


If you are a product or service provider, you must sponsor the conference in order to attend. For available sponsorship opportunities, contact Mia Roberts, director of sponsorship and member engagement.