The National Restaurant Association has relaunched its Conserve website designed to educate restaurateurs about sustainability and showcase how applying greener business practices will save money and help protect the environment.
The rebooted website offers numerous videos, case studies, best practices, and personal accounts of becoming more sustainable, reducing energy and water consumption, decreasing food waste, recycling, composting, and operating business in environmentally and economically responsible ways.
“Practicing sustainability is no longer a trend, but an important aspect of the restaurant industry’s daily operations,” says Scott DeFife, executive vice president, policy and government affairs, National Restaurant Association. “With this new and improved website, we are well on our way to helping restaurateurs increase their efficiency, reducing the amount of energy, water, and waste they generate while saving money and being environmentally aware at the same time. By sharing the experiences, best practices, and knowledge of industry leaders who are meeting their sustainability goals, we can assist those who are just beginning their own sustainable journeys.”
Well-known restaurateurs, such as George McKerrow Jr. of Ted’s Montana Grill, Clarice Turner of Starbucks, and Dan Simons of Founding Farmers restaurants, as well as celebrity chefs Rick Bayless, Amanda Freitag, and Gale Gand, are just some of the experts sharing their sustainability experiences on the new website.
Conserve program director Jeff Clark said the redesign was driven by the goal of engaging operators, who would use the site as a guide moving forward, and refer to it often once they are immersed in their own sustainability plans.
“We know restaurant operators are extremely pressed for time and have an inordinate amount of responsibilities to juggle daily, so we needed to provide them with easily accessible, smart, solid information presented in an entertaining [way] to help them achieve their goals,” Clark says. “We are pleased with this new and improved site, and think it will help operators and their employees understand not only how to practice sustainability, but more importantly, why they should do it at all.”
Laura Abshire, the NRA’s director of sustainability, says sustainability is one of the most talked about topics among restaurateurs and their customers, and is a discussion that continues to grow and become more relevant every day.
“Learning through the advice, tools, and tips of others in environmentally sound and fiscally feasible ways will help our industry reduce its carbon footprint, make a big impact, and see a great return on investment,” Abshire says. “That is a winning proposition on all fronts.”
Created in 2009, the NRA’s Conserve sustainability program is an education tool that shows restaurateurs how to reduce energy, water, and waste, and save money and resources at the same time. More than 230 restaurant locations use the program.