From recycling to lighting to waste disposal methods to investing in energy-efficient equipment, there are countless things you can do to reduce your energy bill and lessen the environmental impact of your business. As a restaurant owner, you can implement multiples measures to increase efficiency, yet it can be difficult to gauge where you stand in comparison to other members of the industry.

It would seem, however, that one group has tackled this problem by investing in software that not only tracks their sustainable progress, but provides a customized menu of 185 strategic choices (from changing the menu to rethinking kitchen equipment) they can make to reduce their carbon footprint, and, consequently, their operational costs. Curious? Read on and learn more about how your restaurant can cut down on its “carbon foodprint”.

The Compass Group: Investing in the right direction

For those who don’t know, Compass Group is a provider of contract foodservice and support service, serving approximately 4 billion meals a year in offices, factories, schools, universities, hospitals, senior living communities, sports and cultural venues, mining camps and offshore platforms.

According to the Compass Group website, the group works diligently to serve some of the top companies, basing their professional reputation on their ability to improve the quality and potentially reduce costs; meet the latest (and highest) health, safety and environmental standards; rely on market leading innovation and global best practices; and keep atop of the latest food concepts and access the leading brands.

Measuring your Carbon foodprint

Staying in line with the latest trends in sustainability and foodservice, the Compass Group has recently invested in a software application designed to help chefs and kitchen managers reduce waste disposal and lessen energy and water consumption.

According to Green Biz, the web-based tool is called Carbon Foodprint and was developed by FirstCarbon Solutions, a consulting and data management service that, according to their site, also provides software solutions for the collection, management, reporting and analysis of sustainable data.

The software has piloted in 12 locations over the past year, and was fully rolled out in March. Marc Zammit, VP, Sustainability & Culinary Initiatives at Compass Group North America says that “the rollout is really focusing on the top, those businesses and clients that have those values. There’s an opportunity for us to work together to get there.”

Providing companies with benchmarks and best practices

How does Carbon Foodprint help foodservice members like Compass Group lower energy costs and carbon emissions? The software analysis various data points from throughout the entire foodservice supply chain, measuring the impact of menu choices, appliances, procurement policies, packaging and disposal methods on an operation’s carbon footprint.

The results allow operators to see how their business is doing and compare their own findings with benchmarks, best practices and competitors throughout the industry. According to the Compass Group, the tool takes you through four strategic paths to minimize your “foodprint” including; menu engineering, kitchen services, site equipment, and facilities management.

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