May 18, 2010
Some recent blog posts raise questions about the National Restaurant Association's Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability initiative and Greener Restaurants program. We'd like to clear up the confusion.
The writer seems to have relied on information that was obtained through deception by an "industry insider" source, who took comments out of context. We think a direct conversation would have been beneficial in addressing these issues rather than trusting someone who misrepresented his identity to serve an agenda.
Through the Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability initiative and website, we aim to educate restaurant operators about how to increase their environmental sustainability efforts in ways that make sense for their individual restaurants. The new Greener Restaurants program was created to support this effort, focusing on multiple educational components and flexible implementation.
Our goal with the program is to help and encourage restaurateurs nationwide to make positive changes that are environmentally-friendly. It's unfortunate that there are individuals who would rather criticize good faith efforts than encourage positive action that could save a tremendous amount of energy, water, and waste in thousands of restaurants across the country.
We are very clear in all program components that Greener Restaurants is not a certification program, but is based on self-reporting and encouraging an open dialog with restaurant guests. The program is currently in its pilot phase with a planned industry launch soon. The consumer-aspect of the program will launch at a later date and will clearly show the transparency of operator efforts.
As far as the Conserve Solutions Center at NRA Show 2010, all exhibiting companies in the pavilion feature products that have environmental benefits. Someone mistakenly told the fictitious exhibitor that he would be a good fit — a mistake that would have been immediately corrected had he actually represented an exhibiting company. By no means did this reach the final stages of the exhibiting process.
We welcome restaurant operators who are serious about sustainability efforts to join at McCormick Place in Chicago this weekend (May 22-25) to learn more about what we're doing, and how our program helps the industry move toward a more sustainable future.
The money you save on operating costs (through energy efficiency) adds to what you get to keep, so saving 20% on energy operating costs can increase your profit as much as 33%.
Find out green trends and more in the 2011 Restaurant Industry Forecast. Learn more