COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- White Castle is best known for serving its famous Sliders at more than 400 restaurants, but what many don't know is that this 94-year-old national icon also is passionate about sustainability. The efforts of the family-owned business to become "greener" started in the 1960s with founder Billy Ingram, when White Castle put in place year-round processes to drive continuous improvement in the company's environmental efficiency.
For example, in 1964 White Castle began reusing the cardboard boxes that the bakeries use to ship sandwich buns to the restaurants. Today, each box is reused approximately five times. More recently, White Castle switched to recycled brown paper sacks and corrugated Crave Cases made from 100 percent recycled material in an effort to reduce cost and its carbon footprint.
"Our team at White Castle has shown a commitment to achieve a more sustainable future through improvements in energy efficiency and recycling," said Shannon Tolliver, social responsibility and environmental sustainability manager at White Castle, as well as a fourth generation family member. "Throughout the year, we continue to educate our team members about cost-effective ways we can become more naturally focused by reducing energy use and waste in all of our facilities"
In the past year, White Castle stepped up its recycling efforts by more than doubling the Columbus-area restaurants (six to 16) participating in the food scraps diversion program. Additionally, the food diversion program has expanded to plants in Vandalia and Cincinnati, Ohio.
This has led to more than doubling the food scraps diverted from landfills. White Castle now diverts nearly 10 tons of food scraps per month to Ohio Mulch where it is made into a high-quality garden soil and compost called Green Envy, which is used for planting flowers at Castles in central Ohio.
Since 2009, White Castle's home office improved its existing recycling program by finding alternative outlets for specific waste streams. This program increased recycling efforts by 30 percent, which reduced waste and hauling costs by 60 percent. These waste reduction efforts continued into the restaurants and manufacturing facilities.
Since 1990, White Castle has improved the efficiencies of its restaurants with fan controls, heat reclaim and energy efficient lighting. Restaurants built since 2010 (40 restaurants) are 22 percent more energy efficient than the older Castles because of new technology. White Castle also continues to retrofit its manufacturing plants with efficient lighting and other fixtures.
White Castle is committed to improving its environmental footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all of its facilities. Since 2010, White Castle has reduced its CO2 emissions by approximately 1 percent every year. That takes into account more than 400 White Castle restaurants in addition to other facilities.
Recently White Castle published its first Social Responsibility Overview, which highlights 10 areas that include environment sustainability and corporate giving programs.
About White Castle White Castle is a family-owned business based in Columbus, Ohio, that owns and operates more than 400 restaurants in 12 states. The company was founded in Wichita, Kansas, in 1921 and is America's first fast-food hamburger chain. All White Castle Sliders are made from 100 percent USDA inspected beef. White Castle's commitment to maintaining the highest quality products extends to the company owning and operating its own meat processing plants and bakeries. Craver Nation, White Castle's culture center for Cravers, connects like-minded Cravers from around the globe in a social media setting. For more information on White Castle and Craver Nation, visit WhiteCastle.com and CraverNation.WhiteCastle.com.
About Castle Shares By feeding hunger, hope and dreams, the White Castle family helps build strong, thriving, Craver communities through the Castle Shares program. Founder Billy Ingram believed in taking care of people and giving back to the community. His philosophy still remains a focus of the family-owned business today. White Castle donates $2.1 million every year to a variety of charities across the nation, including $607,000 to Autism Speaks in 2013. The White Castle family supports more than 50 charities each year with volunteers, money and food donations.