Sustainable Restaurant Association Goes Global

Following World's 50 Best Restaurants' Sustainable Restaurant Award, SRA launches International Sustainable Restaurant Rating System and announces US Restaurant Participation

Apr 30, 2013, 14:54 ET from The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA)

LONDON, April 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA), an organization based in the UK, has just launched a global sustainability rating system, available to any restaurant in the world. Global expansion of the SRA rating aims to create an international standard for sustainability in the professional food community.

Narisawa, the two Michelin-starred restaurant in Tokyo, was honored with the first-ever Sustainable Restaurant Award, sponsored by Zacapa, at The World's 50 Best Restaurants on April 29, 2013, for achieving the highest SRA score among the 50 Best Restaurants.  Noma, in Copenhagen and 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA, in Hong Kong, completed the top three. Said Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa of the honor, "We are committed to operating sustainably every day at Narisawa and are proud to communicate this globally. We operate sustainably because it is the right thing to do, as eating and gastronomy go hand-in-hand with sustainability and it comes naturally to me as a person as well as a chef to take care of nature." 

The SRA is poised to make a big splash in the United States, as a number of internationally renowned restaurant and hospitality groups have already signed on to undertake the SRA Rating, including the Soho House Group and D&D London Restaurant Group. The SRA has also entered into a partnership with Virgin Atlantic to rate their in-flight catering system, with a particular focus on their global sourcing practices.

The SRA rating system , an online questionnaire to gauge a restaurants' commitment to their three tenets of sustainability - Society, Environment and Sourcing - has been used in the UK since 2009. It is the only fully independent and comprehensive assessment of a restaurants' environmental and social responsibility. Restaurants that score 50-59% receive One Star, 60-69% Two Stars and 70% and above Three Stars.

A number of NGOs and environmental organizations have also embraced the SRA's mission, including Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), Marine Stewardship Council and Waste Action Resources Program. Philip Lymbery, Chief Executive of CIWF, said: "We recognize the tremendous impact the SRA has had on sustainability across the hospitality sector.  Animal welfare worldwide will improve significantly if the SRA can replicate its success with its global rating."

More than 500 UK restaurants - including Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons and Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles - have completed the rating, described as the Michelin Stars of Sustainability by The Sunday Times. In 2014, the SRA will include an international award at its Sustainable Restaurant Awards.

Raymond Blanc, President of the SRA and chef patron of the world famous Le Manoir states,"This is the birth of an international common language of restaurant sustainability. The world's best chefs have a duty to operate responsibly and I would urge all my chef colleagues around the world to take the test."

The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) is a non-profit membership organization providing restaurants with expert sustainability advice. The SRA helps member restaurants source food more sustainably, manage resources more efficiently and work more closely with their community. 

The SRA Rating System involves the completion of a rigorous survey, providing answers and evidence to  questions across 14 areas of sustainability. The SRA then assesses the results and rates the restaurants according to a three-star scale.

SOURCE The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA)