Measuring Environmental Practices

Compass Group partners with FirstCarbon to improve its FOODprint Toolkit.

By 
Lindsey Ramsey, Contributing Editor

Data is a powerful tool, something that managers with Compass Group knew. So they asked the corporate office for an expansion to the company’s FOODprint toolkit, which helps operators track their location’s environmental impact. The toolkit offered best practices to enable operators to lower their environmental impact, but operators wanted to be able to measure their results. So Compass reached out to FirstCarbon Solutions, a provider of environmental sustainability business solutions, to create a web-based software tool to enhance the toolkit.

The toolkit now features dashboards that track different metrics such as waste, water usage and greenhouse gas emissions. Managers can look at data based on 185 options in five areas: menu engineering, kitchen operations, kitchen services, site equipment and facilities. Based on the dashboard’s information, managers are expected to come up with strategies to lower their facilities’ environmental impact.

Marc Zammit, vice president of corporate sustainability initiatives, says the company turned to industry partners to create baselines for the dashboard.

“For the menu aspect, we went to our key suppliers across the country—beef, produce, dairy—and asked them a series of questions about the transportation, packaging and production of each item,” Zammit says. “We then came up with a calculation of the footprint for that specific product. We then mapped the purchasing for that specific café with those calculations to come up with a café-specific carbon footprint.”

For equipment calculations, operators were surveyed about how they use each piece of equipment. Those results were then mapped against algorithms from the Foodservice Technology Center in San Ramon, Calif. For example, for waste the data is a combination of what the operation knows comes in through purchasing, plus what operators report that they are recycling or throwing out.  

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