Every restaurant should consider its carbon footprint, which refers to its impact on the environment based on the carbon emissions that the restaurant discharges into the atmosphere.
If you want to do your part for the environment while promoting an eco-conscious philosophy to your employees, investors, and patrons, you may want to look into making some changes that can reduce your establishment’s carbon footprint.
Restaurants Have a Huge Carbon Footprint
Food prep, transportation, and food production have an adverse impact on the ecosystem. Food production alone is accountable for 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions that are produced globally.
Food may need to travel hundreds of miles before it arrives at a given restaurant, generating a plethora of harmful emissions due to the amount of fuel that is expended.
The food supply chain also contributes to the carbon footprint issue, as do the patrons who eat at restaurants. The food industry has a negative impact on the ecosystem; from the amount of water that is utilized in the food supply chain to the emissions that are generated from the production of livestock.
Lower Your Restaurant’s Carbon Footprint
Fortunately, many restaurants have found creative ways to battle the carbon footprint issue. In truth, an eco-friendly restaurant will help retain customers and attract new patrons, all while protecting the environment without negatively impacting its bottom line. Below are a few ways to reduce your establishment’s carbon footprint while also saving some money along the way.
You can help boost your restaurant’s energy efficiency by ensuring that your restaurant is constructed using only energy-efficient cooling and heating materials, as well as by using recycled materials whenever possible. You can also invest some of your money in high-efficiency aerators in your plumbing fixtures to reduce water waste.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Most sustainable companies install equipment that is known for its energy-saving properties. You may want to invest in appliances that are not only energy-efficient but water-efficient as well. Not only will you be saving money in the long run, but you will be doing your part to reduce your restaurant’s carbon footprint.
For example, True Manufacturing has earned back-to-back Energy Star awards for excellence in product design. True commercial refrigerators or commercial freezers have a high standard of energy efficiency and help customers lower their utility bills.
If in doubt, you can check out the Energy Star website, as it has a full list of appliances and other such items that are Energy Star certified.
You can lower the carbon footprint of your establishment by making the switch to renewable sources of energy. This could include installing wind power generators and solar panels. Renewable energy also provides an exceptional return on investment, with most companies getting their money back in under 5 years.
You may be able to lease the equipment at a lower cost than your current electric bill; and show your staff and patrons that you genuinely care about environmental sustainability.
Another way to quickly and easily reduce your carbon footprint is to buy local supplies, appliances, and produce whenever possible. An on-site vegetable garden can lower your carbon footprint while providing your customers with fresh, high-quality food.
Inventory Waste Management System
An easy way to reduce the amount of food spoilage and the amount of over-ordering is to use an efficient inventory management system.
You can store food and beverages according to their preservation level, creating separate groups or categories. Label each item clearly with its expiration date and cook them before reaching their expiration date to keep food tasting fresh.
Recycle, Reduce, Reuse Waste
Another way to help reduce waste is to enforce a restaurant-wide policy that ensures that waste products are recycled. By doing so, you will reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the garbage and invariably in landfills; while also being a part of the trash cooking trend taking the world by storm.
Less food wasted means less money lost, and fuel emissions lowered, as food that isn’t wasted won’t have to be transported to dumps or landfills that may be thousands of miles away.
The Future of Sustainable Restaurant Practices
While the impact that the foodservice industry has on the environment is staggering, it is possible to make an impact by making a few simple, effective changes. Restaurateurs can reduce and reform emissions, water usage, and food waste by implementing environmentally sustainable practices.
Interesting related article: “What is renewable energy?“