green chicago restaurant coalition and green seal™ release pilot standard for sustainable chicago restaurants and food services
The Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition (GCRC) and Green Seal announce the launch of the Green Seal Pilot Standard for Sustainable Chicago Restaurants and Food Services. The Pilot Standard is a major step in developing a new standard to be included in GCRC’s Guaranteed Green program to help Chicago consumers identify more sustainable restaurants and food services, and provide the industry with a tool to develop and focus their environmental efforts.
The release of the Pilot Standard is the result of a year-long project between the Green Restaurant Research Team (GRRT) at the University of Chicago, GCRC, and Green Seal. The project began with an evaluation by the GRRT students of the Green Seal Standard for Restaurants and Food Services, GS-46, culminating in a report outlining findings on the environmental, policy, and economic aspects of the GS-46 Standard as they relate to Chicago restaurants and sustainability goals. With this information, Green Seal has developed an adapted standard that is specifically aligned with the sustainability goals of Chicago and is practicable for retail operations to achieve while still representing leadership.
"We're excited Green Seal has refined their standards to be both locally reflective and achievable by all different types of foodservice operations," said Eloise Karlatiras, President and CEO of Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition, "and we look forward to recognizing all of the fantastic pilot participants into our Guaranteed Green program once they've been certified."
“Green Seal is pleased to have worked with GCRC to develop an environmental leadership standard for restaurants in a city known as a leader, both in the U.S. as well as globally, in the culinary field,” said Dr. Arthur Weissman, President and CEO or Green Seal.
The Pilot Chicago Standard begins with a focus on environmentally responsible food purchasing. Life-cycle research conducted by Green Seal determined that over 95% of environmental impacts from the day-to-day operations of a food service come from the food purchased and used. This information on environmental impacts, as well as surveys of Chicago consumers conducted by GRRT, led to the development of criteria requiring that restaurants purchase a minimum amount of organically or locally grown foods.
In addition, the standard sets criteria for restaurants to reduce their waste, through composting and recycling requirements, and reduce water and energy usage. As a whole, the requirements create a comprehensive set of practices food service operations can follow to decrease their environmental impacts.
Following Green Seal’s procedures to develop open and transparent standards, the Pilot Standard is now open for public comment through November 21, 2012. While the standard is open for comment, Green Seal is accepting applications from Chicago restaurants and food service operations to participate in a pilot certification program to help develop the standard.
More information on the Green Seal Pilot Standard for Sustainable Chicago Restaurants and Food Services, including information on how to submit comments or apply to participate in the pilot certification program, can be found at www.greenseal.org/ChicagoRestaurants.aspx.