Green Seal's Certification Helps Them Get There and Reassures Consumers
CHICAGO, May 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With patrons increasingly concerned about the origin and environmental impact of food they eat, a growing number of restaurants are looking for ways to reduce their impact and appropriately tell their green story to consumers.
The answer is certification by Green Seal, with the first nationally recognized standard for green restaurants, leaders of the Rainforest Alliance and 312 Chicago, a local restaurant, told media at the National Restaurant Association Show.
In fact, more than 95 percent of the environmental impact of U.S. restaurants is food, according to a recent analysis by Green Seal, a non-profit leader in environmental certification for more than two decades.
"Our life-cycle analysis showed that agricultural production as well as distribution, storage, preparation, and disposal of food represent the vast majority of the impact of an operation. To truly make a difference you have to reduce these impacts," said Cheryl Baldwin of Green Seal.
Kim Schwenke, Pastry Chef of 312 Restaurant in Chicago, said the restaurant is pursuing Green Seal certification because of the re-assurance it will provide to their customers who are increasingly concerned about sustainability.
"Green Seal certification aligns perfectly with the greening goals of 312 Chicago," Schwenke said. "We are proving that we care as much about the health of the environment as we do about the health of our guests."
More than half of the "Top 20 Trends for 2010" identified in the NRA's annual chef survey relate to sustainability, said Sabrina Vigilante of the Rainforest Alliance, whose certification of responsibly produced food is one of seven recognized in the Green Seal standard.
"Rainforest Alliance certification provides assurance that coffee and other tropical commodities come from responsibly managed farms," Vigilante said. "The little green frog seal on a product means forests, water and soils are conserved, and that farmers in developing countries earn decent wages, have access to health care, education for their children, and dignified housing."
Green Seal certified restaurants have significantly reduced their impact by responsible food purchasing, waste reduction, water and energy conservation, improving air quality, and providing proper staff training. Certification requires a site audit and regular monitoring. Following the Green Seal guidelines can reduce a restaurant's overall environmental impact by an average of 75 percent, Baldwin said.
Reducing an operations' footprint on the environment by 75 percent isn't easy, but it identifies the industry's leaders. "The certification process is very detailed and looks at every aspect of what we do. It's definitely an award you have to earn," said Chef Schwenke.
Please visit our Web site for more information about Green Seal's restaurant certification.
About Green Seal, Inc.
Green Seal, a non-profit based in Washington D.C., has been identifying products and services that protect the environment and human health since 1989. The Green Seal mark appears on over 3600 environmentally sustainable products and services, and Green Seal is accredited by the American National Standards Institute. The independent organization focuses on certification to its leadership standards, avoiding any conflict of interest that may arise from recommending products or consulting with applicants. For more information and a list of all Green Seal certified products and services, visit www.GreenSeal.org.
About Rainforest Alliance
The Rainforest Alliance is an international NGO with over 20 years experience in the development and promotion of sustainable standards in farming, forestry and tourism. These standards protect the environment and promote the well-being of workers, their families and their communities. For more information, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.
About 312 Chicago
Located adjacent to the Hotel Allegro Chicago in the heart of the vibrant Chicago Loop district, 312 Chicago boasts iconic city views, a sophisticated yet welcoming atmosphere and warm, attentive service that consistently showcases the innovative and classic Italian creations of Padova-born Executive Chef Luca Corazzina and Pastry Chef Kimberly Schwenke. 312 Chicago is located at 136 North LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois. For reservations, please call (312) 696-2420 or visit www.312chicago.com for more information
About Kimpton Restaurants
Founded in 1981 by Bill Kimpton, San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is a collection of boutique hotels and chef-driven restaurants in the U.S. and Canada. Like each hotel, all Kimpton restaurants share common cornerstones: heartfelt care and chef-driven, seasonal menus that celebrate local farms and purveyors. Guided by company-wide EarthCare practices, Kimpton Restaurants demonstrate a dedication to preserving the environment through the use of local and sustainable ingredients, whenever possible. For more information, please visit www.KimptonRestaurants.com or call 1-800-KIMPTON.
SOURCE Green Seal, Inc.