10 Sustainability Requirements Every Commercial Kitchen Should Follow

Must-know tips that'll reduce your company's environmental impact

Sustainability used to be a buzz word, it’s now a need word. It is a priority for several reasons, including customer loyalty, good business sense, cost savings, and most importantly: environmental impact.

In this guide we're listing 10 sustainabillity requirements that every commercial kitchen should follow in order to do their part in trying to help save the climate.

1. Explore and install energy-saving technologies

It has been estimated that a huge part of commercial kitchen's environmental impacts can be directly related to overconsumption—including energy usage.

Installing energy-efficient appliances such as a commercial dishwasher can make a difference for both the environment and your operations bottom line. Allowing you to be more attractive to your customers and offer the best secure pricing structure.

2. Create a green team

Ask interested employees in each department to participate in a "Green team" to take the lead in suggesting eco-friendly best practices in their area. This gives these employees a sense of ownership of green strategies and more commitment to long-term adoption.

Do not forget to acknowledge their efforts, such as with a small certificate, a special lunch, or gift cards…


3. Encourage customers to be green

If you are a hotel, put cards in each room asking guests to turn out the lights when they leave, or reuse towels if possible. Make recycling bins readily available to guests and be sure that they are aware of your green programs. When guests see that your hotel is making every effort to help the environment, they will generally want to do their part as well.

For those hotels looking to do even more, consider loaning or renting bicycles to guests, or look into installing a bike-sharing station.


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4. Start composting

An increasing number of commercial kitchens are realising the benefits of composting food waste rather than throwing it out. Not only is it a popular and well-known green initiative that will impress the customers, but it can also save you money on landscaping since composted waste can be used as organic fertiliser.

A more sustainable food system
The European Commission has set out a common methodology for food waste measurement to support member states in quantifying it at each stage of the supply chain.

The Delegated Act will ensure coherent monitoring of food waste levels across the EU for more data to be collated to put the food system onto a sustainable path.

Minimizing food waste
Every year around 20% of food produced in the EU is lost or wasted. Preventing food waste was identifying as one of the priority areas in the Circular Economy Action Plan adopted by the Commission in December 2015.

While the Delegated Act defines what needs to be measured as food waste at each stage of the food supply chain, and how this should be carried out, it provides flexibility as to how data collection should be carried out at the national level.


5. Save Water

Transitioning to low water-consuming pot washing equipment can save you an average of 70% water.

For example, Marriott Hotels have installed Granuldisk pot washing solutions in many of their hotels in the UK and around the world collectively saving around 60%-70% of the water used in the kitchens to wash their pots and pans. This means over 45 million litres of water a year!

6. Plant a Garden

Consider planting a garden and grow your own organic vegetables and herbs to enhance your food offer. 

Little things make a big difference
Now you do not have to go that far as above, but even a small garden can help counteract your carbon footprint and also help bees and other pollinators who are struggling with climate change, fragmentation, and habitat loss. Raised beds can be installed almost anywhere and placing benches—made from recycled materials—around a garden can make for a wonderful guest experience.

Water wisely
Smart irrigation systems can cut down on unnecessary water use with timed watering. You can also reduce overall water requirements by planting drought-resistant native plants and ground cover instead of just grass. This change also reduces the need for pesticides and fertilizers.

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7. Support local, sustainable businesses

You can help reduce your company's environmental impact by making smart purchasing choices as well. Reduce waste generation by trying to only purchase environmentally friendly products. Purchasing locally can also reduce the impact on the environment, and benefit the community.

You may also want to consider promoting other environmentally friendly businesses to your customers.

8. Implement alternative energy sources

Several companies have switched some of their energy usages to alternative sources, with great results. The Willard Intercontinental in Washington D.C. is now running on 100% wind energy power, resulting in a 12% decline in energy consumption, according to the Green Hotels and Responsible Tourism Initiative.

Other hotels, particularly those in warmer climates, are making use of solar energy for signage and water heating. And as the market for alternative energy increases, more solutions will arise.


9. Upgrade your transportation offerings and services with sustainability in mind

Add electric vehicle charging stations for customers with electric or hybrid cars. Consider eBike and eScooter rental options to promote sustainable transportation (be sure to provide helmets).


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10. Lead by example and practise what you preach.

As you implement green initiatives, make sure you are keeping all employees informed about the changes and what they can do to help. Allow your customers to be part of the experience, by asking for their ideas and feedback.

Approach these efforts as a team, and perhaps the green practices will carry over into your personal lives as well. Making an even bigger difference for our planet. We can all do our bit to save the planet one drop at a time.

Keith Broadway - Country Sales Manager, UK & Ireland, Nordisk Clean Solutions
Quote Images Keith Broadway

Learn how much you can save

Since Granuldisk started in the late '80s our biggest mission has been to help our customers to save water, energy, chemicals, and improve the work environment. Having met millions of customers in the commercial kitchen industry world-wide, week after week, year after year we’ve gathered a lot of knowledge savings in the kitchen and particularly in the pot washing area.

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