When the report into the climate crisis was published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, I was impressed with the high number of worldwide researchers and scientists who contributed data. Of course, it left me feeling concerned about the way the climate crisis is impacting our health worldwide.
This report expressed an extreme sense of urgency for actions to minimize C02 emissions. Governments around the globe will incentivize changes that are needed to keep us safe and I’m confident we will come up with the technologies to assist with global warming and climate change.
The role of foodservice
Other industries have a more direct impact on climate change than foodservice – transportation, farming, building and manufacturing. But the foodservice sector relies on so many of these industries to bring food and service to customers. So, the foodservice sector is indirectly tied to climate change. The fact that everyone on the planet has to eat and people’s eating behaviors do impact C02 emissions leaves us with a responsibility to take action.
This report, along with political pressure and new legislation, will definitely move restaurants to change some of their operating policies. I think the big changes will occur in minimizing packaging, food waste and buying local.
There are many things that operators in the industry can do to help – buy local products as much as possible; reduce portion size; minimize food waste; reduce packaging needs; cut back on the amount of beef and lamb on menus; and reduce energy costs through solar/renewables, energy star appliances, and optimizing building energy usage.
Sustainability baked in
Since foodservice operates on razor thin profit margins, many are doing the best they can to act responsibly. Some owners within the industry are behaving badly, while others are doing an exceptional job.
The companies that are struggling to make a profit and are short sighted, are irresponsible when it comes to the environment while those that have baked sustainability into their culture and rely on green practices to improve their triple bottom line, are the responsible ones. We need responsible foodservice companies to take a leadership role.
Kip Serfozo FCSI is the director of design, East Coast Cini Little International