REDMOND, Wash., March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft's main campus in Redmond, Washington, is the first and only corporate dining program to earn the Green Restaurant Association's (GRA) 2 Star Certified Green Restaurant® seal. For Microsoft, transparency is the key to success in creating sustainable change within their on-site cafes.
Since July 2008, Microsoft has worked with the GRA, a national non-profit organization, to reduce the environmental impact of their eateries and earn the Certified Green Restaurant® distinction. Today, a total of 33 Microsoft cafes have reached the GRA's 2 Star Certified Green Restaurant® level.
"We're committed to improving the environmental impact of our cafes," said Mark Freeman, Senior Services Manager. "We serve over 30,000 people a day, so we want to make sure we're running each location as sustainably and efficiently as possible. By earning the 2 Star Certified Green Restaurant® seal, our customers and employees can see that we're committed to being more environmentally sustainable."
Now, employees of the tech-giant can truly "dine green" during their workday and rest assured knowing that the cafes are reducing water and energy, recycling, purchasing organic and sustainable foods, and more. Each Microsoft cafe has earned over 145 points within the GRA's certification program for their environmental accomplishments. Some of the point-earning steps include:
- Purchasing compostable alternatives for 100% of their service ware
- Eliminating the use of polystyrene products (Styrofoam)
- Installing low-flow faucet aerators and spray valves to conserve water
- Using non-toxic cleaning chemicals
- Full-scale recycling and composting, including recycling waste grease to be made into biodiesel
- Energy efficient hand dryers in the cafe bathrooms
- Installing energy efficient kitchen equipment
- Offering bulk condiments, rather than individually packaged options
...and much more.
"Microsoft has made great strides toward reducing the environmental impact of their dining facilities and we commend them for their commitment to these initiatives," says Michael Oshman, Executive Director of the Green Restaurant Association. "In this day and age, it is easy for businesses to make a few positive changes and then rest on their green laurels. Microsoft, however, has made real, transparent changes and they continue to raise the bar and set an example for other corporations and businesses to follow."
In accordance with the GRA's Certification guidelines, the 2 Star Certified Green Restaurant® level requires a restaurant to earn a minimum total of 100 points, with at least 10 points each in 6 of the 7 environmental categories: Water Efficiency, Waste Reduction & Recycling, Sustainable Furnishing & Building Materials, Sustainable Food, Energy, Disposables, and Chemical & Pollution Reduction. To view the GRA's complete Certification Standards, visit www.dinegreen.com.
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About the Green Restaurant Association
The Green Restaurant Association (GRA) is the only official certifier of Green Restaurants® in the country. The national non-profit organization was founded in 1990 to shift the restaurant industry toward ecological sustainability. For 20 years, the GRA has pioneered the Green Restaurant® movement and currently works with over 650 restaurants throughout the U.S. and Canada. With a transparent and turnkey Certification system, the GRA has made it easy for thousands of restaurants to profit and become more environmentally sustainable. As the industry standard for Greening restaurants, the GRA has the world's largest database of environmental solutions for the foodservice industry. In 2009, the New York State Restaurant Association announced its official endorsement of the GRA, joining EPA Energy Star for Small Business, Environmental Defense Fund, and several other national environmental groups. The GRA has been featured on CNN, NBC Nightly News, NPR, and in The New York Times, and The Washington Post. For more information visit www.dinegreen.com.
SOURCE Green Restaurant Association