Did you ever wonder about what you eat, as you take to the skies? In truth, few travelers think twice about what they put in their mouth as long as the airline provides something that borders on edible. Thankfully, Virgin Atlantic is doing all the thinking for its customers and taking the serving of sustainable food, to new heights!

Virgin Atlantic partners with the SRA

According to the Environmental Leader Virgin Atlantic has partnered with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) in an effort to serve more sustainable food on in-flight meals. The SRA, a British not for profit membership organization, aims to help restaurants become more sustainable by sourcing food sustainably, managing resources more efficienly and working more closely with their community. The association uses a three-star rating system to determine whether or not a restaurant is a sustainable champion. In order to help forward the sustainable efforts of Virgin Atlantic, the SRA will be using it’s Sustainable Rating Program to rate all Virgin Atlantic caterers over the course of the next year. Virgin will follow in the footsteps of Eurostar, the first transport provider to partner with the association.

What makes a restaurant (or airline caterer) sustainable?

The SRA, has, to date, rated over 12,000 restaurants and rates restaurants using a system that examine multiples areas (such as environmentally positive farming, local and seasonal food, water savings, water management, and energy-efficiency) across the categories of sourcing, environment and society.

In a quote found on Sustainable Brands, Mark Linehan, Managing Director of the SRA suggests that SRA’s  “sustainability rating is now regarded as the industry standard for restaurants.” Reuben Arnold, Director of Customer Experience at Virgin Atlantic says: “Value for money and quality of product are of course hugely important factors, but our passengers now rightly demand that we look beyond that, and ensure we are making the most sustainable choices. The SRA ratings will allow us to understand how we and our global suppliers are performing on this front, and how to work closely together to drive improvements.”

Virgin Atlantic vows to cut emissions by 30%

According to their website, Virgin Atlantic set a goal of reducing carbon emissions from every mile they fly by 30% between 2007 and 2020.  The company follows the three-step ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ approach to managing waste, and have put numerous efforts in place to re-use and recycle as much as possible, avoiding the use of landfill sites whenever they can. This can be an arduous task when crossing borders between take-off to landing, especially when European waste regulations make it nearly impossible to recycle items arriving in the UK from outside the EU which have been in contact with food.

Want to read more about Virgin Atlantic and their efforts to integrate sustainable cuisine while cutting down on energy and emissions? Check out their 2012 Sustainable Report, available online!

Questions or comments about Virgin Atlantic and their sustainable partnership with the SRA? Leave them below!

image credit: Missiondon