The Next Chapter of Greening the Restaurant Industry

From 1990 to 2005, there was a major need for education of consumers as to what were the world’s major pressing environmental issues. As consumers became more educated in the topics of sustainable food, energy, water, and waste, they started to create more of a demand for the Certified Green Restaurants®, which were employing more sustainable business practices. In 2006, the topic of the environment penetrated the mainstream.

Climate Change became a regular news topic. The environment was being taught in elementary schools all the way to Masters and PHD’s. Green shifted from a growing trend to a more normal part of our society. Since 2006, some of the country’s most esteemed chefs, universities, restaurants, and corporations have had their restaurants becomes 2, 3, and 4 Star Certified Green Restaurants®, making it easy for the 79% of consumers who prefer dining at Certified Green Restaurants®… to put their money where their mouth is.

When the Green Restaurant Association works with restaurants, it engages that restaurant’s distributors, waste haulers, and even property managers when necessary, in order to make the desired environmental changes. There are thousands of vendors that service the restaurant industry… and determing which of their products are legitimately green can be quite an undertaking. Up until recently, that was an undertaking that would happen restaurant by restaurant.

Welcome to the next chapter of the Greening of the Restaurant Industry. Now, distriubutors and waste haulers are allowing the GRA to vet their offerings against the Green Restaurant Association’s environmental standards, so that we can provide restaurants with a transparent and objective source of information as to what are the legitimate green products that each distributor carries, along with why each product is green, and how many GreenPoints™ it will earn restaurants in their journey towards becoming more environmentally sustainable.

We call this our Green Restaurant Distributor® Program. It answers the following:

  • What is a legitimately environmentally preferable product?
  • What makes it green?
  • How do you know the manufacturer’s claims are valid?
  • Which distributors provide an easy, transparent, and verified source of green products?
Pizza and Pasta Northeast 2017 – Sept 2017 – 728×90

Now, The Green Restaurant Association (GRA) has taken the next step to make it easy for you to answer those questions. The GRA is working with distributors to vet their thousands of products and make public which products meet one of the GRA’s environmental standards. The report for each distributor is made public on the web, showing each product, its environmental standards, which certification it meets, and how many GreenPoints™ it will earn a restaurant towards becoming a Certified Green Restaurant®.
Meet America’s Green Restaurant Distributors™

Dole and Bailey, headquartered in Woburn, MA sells a wide array of food in addition to some disposables to the New England region. Founded in 1868, Dole and Bailey now services thousands of clients. On September of 2014, Dole and Bailey began its work with the Green Restaurant Association to have its products examined to determine which of its products meet the Green Restaurant Association’s environmental standards. The Green Restaurant Association completed its vetting process at the end of November, 2014 and after much detailed work by the Green Restaurant Association’s research team, they are proud to announce Dole and Bailey as the first Green Restaurant Distributor™.

The GreenPoints™ that each food option can earn a restaurant towards becoming a Certified GreenRestaurant®. Dole & Bailey now has over 100 products that meet the Green Restaurant Association’s rigorous environmental certification standards, making it the only distributor in the United States to be a Green Restaurant Distributor™. That means that restaurants, for the first time, will be able to go to Dole & Bailey’s website… and see:

  • All of the sustainable food options listed in one place
  • The environmental certifications that each food option meets
  • The GreenPoints™ that each food option can earn a restaurant towards becoming a Certified Green Restaurant®.

HT Berry, headquartered in Canton, MA, sells disposables and chemicals to all New England states. Founded in 1964, HT Berry now services thousands of clients. On March 20, 2015, HT Berry began its work with the Green Restaurant Association to have its 2,900 products examined to determine which of its products meet the Green Restaurant Association’s environmental standards. HT Berry already has a huge ­261.35 kw solar array, powering 100% percent of its total annual electricity usage. The GRA looks forward to presenting HT Berry’s green disposables and chemicals to you later in the year.

Imperial Bag & Paper Co., LLC, headquartered in Jersey City, NJ, North Carolina, and Massachusetts, sells disposables and chemicals in the Continental United States. Founded in 1935, Imperial Bag & Paper Co., LLC now services thousands of clients. On April 1, 2015, Imperial Paper began its work with the Green Restaurant Association to have its 21,000 products examined to determine which of its products meet the Green Restaurant Association’s environmental standards. The GRA looks forward to presenting Imperial Paper’s green products to you later in the year.

Ayrshire Farms, headquartered in Upperville, VA, sells organic meats and produce to the region. Ayrshire Farm’s history dates back almost 200 years. In April, 2015 Ayrshire Farms partnered with the Green Restaurant Association to have its food examined to determine which items meet the Green Restaurant Association’s sustainable food standards. The GRA looks forward to presenting Ayrshire Farm’s sustainable food items to you later in the year.

These are the leaders. We look forward to further announcements later this year regarding the latest Green Restaurant Distributors™ around North America.