The food service industry is buzzing with the idea of “going green.” As the earth’s resources are strained and rising costs continue to squeeze profits, implementing environmentally friendly practices has become a responsible and smart business strategy.
Even if the environment were not an issue, going green would still save you a lot of money on utilities in the long run.
- Lower energy bills. An upgrade to energy-efficient equipment can almost halve your energy usage, and local governments and utility companies around the country offer substantial rebates for consumers purchasing ENERGY STAR® qualified equipment. » Learn about the Top Ten Energy Saving Tips for the Commercial Kitchen
- Lower water bills. Taking steps to conserve water can save you a surprising amount of money on your next utility bill, and due to fresh water shortages, water prices could soon begin inflating as rapidly as energy costs. » Learn more about the Top Ten Water-Saving Tips for Commercial Kitchens
- Improve worker productivity. Studies show that using energy-efficient equipment and green cleaning supplies improves worker productivity by reducing heat levels and the presence of hazardous chemicals. » Learn more about Green Cleaning Products for the Commercial Kitchen
Consumers are more aware of their impact on the environment than ever before. According to a 2008 National Restaurant Association survey, almost 62% of diners say they would prefer to eat at an environmentally friendly restaurant. If you want to retain your existing customers and attract new ones, you need to go green. The initial cost of greening a restaurant is far less than the cost of losing your customers. Your customers care. So should you.
Save the Environment
The amount of energy use, water use and waste production in food service makes it one of the least sustainable industries. Commercial kitchens pollute the air, water and soil simply by operating. Go green to reduce your business’s impact on the environment
- Prevent air pollution. Using eco-friendly cleaners and lowering energy consumption can greatly reduce the amount of harmful emissions indirectly caused by your business’s operation.
- Reduce waste. Sadly, one of the largest manmade structures in the world is a landfill. The staggering amount of waste we produce not only takes up space, it contaminates air, water and soil. » Learn more Tips on Reducing Waste in the Commercial Kitchen
- Save water. The earth’s fresh water supply is being rapidly depleted. The U.S. government predicts that 36 states will face water shortages in the next five years.
A typical restaurant consumes excessive amounts of water and energy, creates tons of waste and uses toxic cleaning chemicals to sanitize their wares. While customers love to eat out, they are becoming increasingly aware of their impact on the environment. Saving the environment is vital to your business’s success. Go green and get ahead of the game.
Going green will save you money, increase your customer loyalty and reputation in the community. Rather than randomly doing a few green practices, there are a few simple steps to take that will help you save the most money and operate a truly green commercial kitchen.
How to Get Started
The first and most important step to going green is to get an assessment. Rather than stumbling blindly, assessments help determine the methods that will save the most money.
- Habit Assessment. This type of assessment looks for the daily practices that can be changed to save money and resources.
- Energy Assessment. Someone from the utilities company can help you identify where you are needlessly wasting energy.
- Water Assessment. Leaky plumbing fixtures are only sending your money down the drain. A water assessment will determine where the most money can be saved.
- Waste Assessment. Performing a waste assessment will help you determine the types and quantities of materials being thrown out. Once you know what is being wasted, you can determine how you can reduce, reuse and recycle.
Make the Commitment
Becoming truly sustainable is an on-going process that requires time and dedication by both yourself and your staff. The most successful green restaurants are those always exploring new eco-friendly alternatives.
Whether you start small or go all out, the following changes can make a big difference in how your commercial kitchen impacts the environment every day.