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.  

More From FoodService Director

Ideas and Innovation
bolognese sauce

We’re trying to bring scratch cooking to all the elementary schools, but we’re taking it dish by dish. Right now, we satellite a lot of the dishes out. This month we made a Bolognese from scratch, and went to each of the schools to talk to them about the process and see if they could implement it. It helps us find out the hurdles and what they are going to need to make it work.

Ideas and Innovation
rolling silverware

Ensuring that employees regularly complete the busywork missing from their daily checklist can be a challenge, but these tasks often help an operation run efficiently with fewer unexpected costs. At Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., Regional Executive Chef Dustin Cochran has found a solution to ensure his walk-in coolers always have a clean vent. Cochran starts with a thorough cleaning of the vent, then slips a hairnet over it to catch the dust. Instead of getting employees to deep clean the vents, they need only replace the hairnet.

Ideas and Innovation
chicken and waffles

Our elementary menu is currently riding the breakfast-anytime advertising trend by offering Breakfast for Lunch every Tuesday. It ranks as our highest participation, and it was a great way for us to introduce chicken and waffles inspired by an IHOP dish.

Ideas and Innovation
dress code geeks

Team uniforms are a way we encourage fun. I tell the mangers that every person on your team needs to look like a member of your team, but they can decide together what they want to wear. When the students see a cafeteria person that is matching and having fun with their outfits, they relate to those people better. We don’t want them to look stiff and stuffy.

FSD Resources