FSD's 2011 Environmental Study

Buying local helps earth, say operators.

The percentage of operators who see buying local, sustainable and/or organic products as a way to help the environment continues to grow, according to the results of our third Environmental Survey.

2011 Environmental Study: Recycling Tops List

 

  • This year, 53% of survey respondents said they follow this popular practice, compared with 47% last year and only 34% the year before.
  • Recycling continues to be the No. 1 environmental practice, with 85% of operators recycling at least some items. Paper and cardboard (93%) remain the most recycled materials, followed by plastic (76%), metal (62%), glass (59%), oil (56%), batteries (39%) and polystyrene (15%).
  • Other environmental practices cited in our survey were collecting oil for biodiesel conversion (44%), eliminating disposables (28%), using water flow restrictors (26%) and composting (24%). Other environmental programs mentioned by at least one respondent included supplying food waste to hog farms, pulping trash to reduce its volume and going trayless.
  • Only 4% of respondents said they don’t participate in any environmental programs. Most of those respondents cited cost, lack of administrative support or being located in an area where options such as recycling are not available.
  • Using environmentally friendly (e.g., compostable) serviceware is one option being pursued by 43% of operators. Even though such disposable items are more expensive than typical plastic serviceware, only 17% choose to pass the extra cost onto their customers.
  • For those who don’t make use of this type of disposable ware, cost is the reason most cited (71%). Other reasons given include lack of convenient locations to recycle or compost (31%), customers aren’t asking for them (16%) and such products aren’t available in their area (12%).

2011 Environmental Study: What Operators Recycle

  • Seventy-one percent of operators said they market their environmental efforts. Most of those (62%) do it through posters, handouts and other tools. The institution’s or company’s website is a vehicle used by 36% of operators to market these efforts, and 23% use contests and giveaways as the way to pass on the message.
  • Although not all foodservice operators are able to practice environmental awareness in their workplaces, all respondents said they take steps in their personal lives to help the environment. Recycling (89%) and conserving energy (86%) are the actions most often cited. These are followed by water conservation (67%), buying local, sustainable and/or organic items (50%), maintaining a garden (48%) and buying “green” products (42%).
  • When it comes to transportation, 45% of respondents indicated they drive less, while 35% said they are driving vehicles that are more fuel efficient. Finally, 24% of operators compost at home.
  • Waste continues to be the top environmental problem facing the earth, according to operators, with 37% citing this as the No. 1 challenge. Water pollution is second, at 21%, followed by global warming (20%), air pollution (11%), loss of the ozone layer (5%), animal extinction (3%) and acid rain (1%).

2011 Environmental Study: Environmental Issues

More From FoodService Director

Industry News & Opinion

Food delivery company Good Uncle is expanding to 15 college campuses this fall, The Daily Orange reports.

The company plans to grow along the East Coast and is looking at opening at schools such as George Washington University, Pennsylvania State University, Villanova University and American University. Good Uncle hopes to open at 50 to 100 campuses by 2019.

Starting as a delivery-only kitchen in 2016, Good Uncle partners with local restaurants to recreate their popular dishes and then deliver them to college students. The company offers free delivery, no delivery minimum...

Ideas and Innovation
wahoo tacos

School lunch is heating up. As expectations rise in the noncommercial sector, the old-fashioned cafeteria has become a hot topic. Political pressure on schools has seesawed over the past eight years, and nutritional regulations on items like sodium and whole grains have been overhauled (and back again). Meanwhile, students, parents, teachers, administrators and policymakers are demanding more healthfulness and better taste from school meals, often for the same cost.

Yet the industry’s best are dedicated to getting better, even while looking to the future with caution. “There’s not...

Sponsored Content
WinCup product

From WinCup ® .

The shape of hospitality is always changing—and challenging. Take the boom in off-premise and takeout, for example, that is expanding foodservice beyond the four walls of the dining room. That trend is driving both commercial and noncommercial operators to rethink their packaging needs—from a practical operational standpoint as well as when it comes to addressing consumers’ needs and desires.

Take it away

The tide of takeout is rising: 49% of 18- to 34-year olds say they are ordering food to-go more often now than they were three years ago, with 36% saying...

Industry News & Opinion

The dining team at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., is concerned about the school’s upcoming switch to a new food vendor this fall, the Daily Northwestern reports.

While Northwestern says that its new vendor, Compass, will invite staff to join the company and dining employees will receive the same pay, benefits and seniority they have in their current arrangement, workers are still worried about the change.

Staff say that the university did not keep them informed while searching for a new vendor and that they learned about new developments through students and...

FSD Resources