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National Restaurant Association - NRA taps sustainability advisory council

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NRA taps sustainability advisory council

The National Restaurant Association today announced the members of its Conserve Sustainability Advisory Council as part of a plan to help restaurateurs better understand environmental awareness and become more resource-efficient.

The advisory council is composed of  members of the foodservice and allied industry, all of whom are sustainability experts in their own right. As council members, they will be tasked with sharing their education, lessons learned and best practices applied at their own businesses.

“We are pleased to announce this group of some of the most influential sustainability leaders in the foodservice industry today,” said Scott DeFife, Executive Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs, National Restaurant Association. “With sustainability becoming more integral to business operations, it is important that restaurateurs know how best to deploy cost-effective and environmentally efficient practices that will pay dividends to their operations and the communities they serve. We think this council will be an important resource in achieving that goal.”

DeFife said the Association will incorporate the council’s advice on best practices into its Conserve Sustainability Education Program to help operators incorporate the information quickly and easily into their own operations. CSEP, which currently has nearly 200 members, consists of an easy-to-use checklist that is divided into five categories and also features more than 90 industry-tested best practices and 64 educational videos demonstrating how to enact many of these best practices.

The Conserve Sustainability Advisory Council is led by industry co-chairs John Mulcahy of Georgia-Pacific and Jim Hanna of Starbucks Coffee Co.

“We at Georgia-Pacific Professional are very pleased to be a part of this Council and working with such an esteemed group of individuals and companies,” said John Mulcahy, vice president of sustainability and compliance for GP Professional and CSAC co-chair. “The CSAC is well positioned to help both its members and the restaurant industry to, first, better understand their current sustainability needs, and second, achieve their environmental and business goals.” 

“The advisory council was formed with the intent of providing our fellow industry members with the best tools and practices to help them be more sustainable and reduce their operating costs,” said Jim Hanna, director of environmental affairs for Starbucks Coffee Co., and CSAC co-chair. “The NRA is leading on sustainability issues for our industry and trying to help restaurateurs operate smarter and more efficiently. With the advisory council’s input and real-world advice, practicing sustainability will be easier to implement, result in long-term cost savings and benefit the environment.”

The advisory council’s members are:

  • Linda Dunn, vice president of supply chain and sustainability for contract foodservice company HMSHost;
  • Jeffrey Foote, director of customer sustainability/global customer development for the Coca-Cola Co.;
  • Joseph Franz, principal, strategic channel partnership development for Constellation Energy;
  • Jim Hanna, director of environmental affairs for Starbucks Coffee Co.;
  • Christian Hardigree, director, professor of the Institute for Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality, Kennesaw State University;
  • Caitlin Leibert, sustainability coordinator of Chipotle Mexican Grill;
  • John Mulcahy, vice president of sustainability and compliance for Georgia-Pacific LLC;
  • Paula Owens, purchasing and sustainability manager for Ted’s Montana Grill;
  • Kristen Rainey, director of sustainability for Sodexo Inc.’s corporate services;
  • Dave Scholten, commercial segment manager of Gordon Food Service;
  • Andrew Shakman, founder and CEO of LeanPath Inc.;
  • Ruth Watts, product marketing manager for BASF;
  • Wanda Williams, director of alliances and industry relations for Waste Management; and
  • Richard Young, senior engineer/director of education for the Food Service Technology Center.

“Our mission is to help the industry adapt and get ahead of the issues in environmental management and energy efficiency, as well as increase interest among consumers and local governments in sustainable business practices,” said Jeff Clark, Conserve program director. “The knowledge this group brings to the table will not only help restaurateurs large and small, but also establish Conserve as the resource of choice for the entire industry.”

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