As the global economy begins to recognize the dire realities of climate change and ever-dwindling natural resources, sustainability and energy efficiency have become critically important to the continual success of businesses, the quality of life for humanity, and the preservation of our environment.
Going green not only increases your bottom line and eases the energy load on our planet, but can improve your standing amongst the local and global communities, which, in turn, will make you a more popular destination to potential patrons.
But where to start? The sheer amount of green and sustainable organizations vying for your attention can be intimidating and overwhelming. As a certified Green Business, the Food Service Technology Center has sorted through the plethora of resources for you so you too can “green your restaurant”.
Let this page serve as a portal, a jumping-off point, for your initial foray into the greening of your restaurant. We have included resources ranging from green product labeling to green certification bodies that will help you on your way. You can also visit the Food Service Technology Center’s Green Statement page to learn how we became a certified green business and perhaps apply some of our practices to your own business.
Green Business Program
The Green Business Program is a partnership of government agencies and utilities working together to promote small businesses who distinguish themselves through sustainable operation across
the state of California. The FSTC has been working extensively with the Green Business Program as a technical resource to help design and update the checklist for restaurants.
In addition, the FSTC works closely with the Bay Area Green Business program and performs energy audits in the Bay Area to encourage restaurants applying for certification to reduce their
demand for energy and increase their bottom line. In 2010 the FSTC earned its own Bay Area Green Business Certification. To learn more about the Bay Area Green Business program
Specialty Coffee Association of America
The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), a trade organization consisting of coffee retailers, roasters, producers, importers/exporters, and coffee equipment manufacturers, working in conjunction with the Green Café Network and the Food Service Technology Center (FSTC), have developed a series of Green Guides designed to help the café operator conserve energy and water while reducing waste.
The energy and water modules are now published at scaa.org The SCAA has also posted a short introduction to sustainability: Understanding the Triple Bottom Line – The top 5 business benefits of sustainable practices which is available at scaa.org/triplebottomline
PowerSave Campus Program / Alliance to Save Energy
The PowerSave Campus Program, a national network of university students managed by the Alliance to Save Energy, focuses on reducing the demand for energy. Students are encouraged to work as a
team to organize their own projects that ultimately lead to a decrease in energy consumption. Collectively there are over 75 interns in 26 different universities across the country.
FSTC has been involved with Green Campus on multiple levels. From participating in the Green Campus Energy Efficiency Summit and the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference
(CHESC) to teaching students at the University of California (UC) and the California State University (CSU) school systems on how to perform energy audits and implement recommendations. To learn more about PowerSave Campus visit
Sustainable San Ramon (SSR) / Sustainable Contra Costa County
FSTC connects with local community to promote energy efficiency and sustainability through organizations such as Sustainable San Ramon and Sustainable Contra Costa County. These organizations
work with new businesses and food service establishments on a personal level to encourage the community to take advantage of the free energy audits that FSTC offers to PG&E customers. These
organizations are a powerful way to intertwine a large network of people, businesses, and philanthropy. The FSTC was the recipient of 2011 Sustainable Contra Costa County Small Business
Sustainability Award. sustainablesanramon.wordpress.com sustainablecoco.org/
Free FSTC Resources
The FSTC offers free information to help you save energy and water in your restaurant. Check out the links below:
The EPA and other statewide and regional authorities provide many existing guidelines for identifying and purchasing environmentally-friendly products and chemicals. The FSTC adopts these
guidelines as the basis of our own purchasing policy and procedures in an effort to reduce pollution and lighten our impact on the environment.
Below are the key programs we reference when we want to compare and purchase environmentally-friendly products:
Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG)
The Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG) program is part of EPA's continuing effort to promote the use of materials recovered from solid waste. Buying recycled-content products ensures that
the materials collected in recycling programs will be used again in the manufacture of new products. Approved Products, Product Supplier Directory, & Resources:
EPA's partnership to help organizations eliminate costly municipal solid waste, benefiting their bottom line and the environment. Program Homepage:
Federal Trade Commission
Guidance for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims
Defines product terms and marketing claims and the regulation/lack of regulation of their use in consumer products. Examples are: · “Ozone safe” & “ozone friendly” · “Degradable” & ”biodegradable” · “Compostable”
Green Seal Certified
Non-governmental agency that develops life cycle-based sustainability standards for products, services and companies and offers third-party certification for those that meet the criteria in
the standard. Green Seal has been actively identifying and promoting sustainability in the marketplace, and helping organizations be greener in a real and effective way since 1989.
The USDA Bio-Preferred program promotes the increased purchase and use of biobased products. The increased purchase of biobased products will be expected to reduce petroleum consumption,
increase the use of renewable resources, better manage the carbon cycle, and may contribute to reducing adverse environmental and health impacts. Product Labeling: USDA certifies and awards labels to qualifying products to increase consumer recognition of biobased products. Federal Procurement Preference: USDA designates categories of biobased products that are afforded preference by Federal agencies when making purchasing decisions. Program Homepage:
biopreferred.gov/ Bio-Preferred Catalog: