Restaurant association issues sustainability challenge

by Staff
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WASHINGTON — Responding to consumer interest in company’s adopting sustainable business practices, the National Restaurant Association (N.R.A.) has introduced the N.R.A. Conserve/E.P.A. Energy Star Challenge and encouraging its members to reduce energy and water usage.

"There are many different ways to reduce energy and water consumption in restaurants," said Dawn Sweeney, chief executive officer of the N.R.A. "We hope that our Conserve/E.P.A. Challenge campaign will motivate those within our industry to continue their journey toward a more sustainable future."

Research conducted by the N.R.A. shows that environmentally sustainable practices are increasingly important to consumers. Forty-four per cent polled by the N.R.A. said they are likely to make a restaurant choice based on a restaurant’s efforts to conserve energy and water, and six out of 10 said they are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers food that was grown in an organic or environmentally friendly way.

In addition, the N.R.A. research showed its members are increasing their "green" efforts with 27% of quick-service operators, 43% of family dining operators, 45% of casual dining operators and 50% of fine dining operators devoting more resources to sustainability initiatives.

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