Foodservice Equipment Reports

NRA Zeroes In On Waste, Sustainability

Under the umbrella of its “Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability” environmental initiative, the National Restaurant Association has teamed up with an Atlanta-based nonprofit program and a Chicago culinary school in separate efforts to lower restaurant waste and expand sustainability efforts.

The collaboration with Zero Waste Zone emphasizes identifying best practices, creating resources and measuring the impact of waste-management efforts on perishable organics. The association hopes to expand the success of the two-year-old Zero Waste Zone program, administered by Elemental Impact, to its members nationwide. Elemental Impact is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing sustainable operating practices to the corporate community with easy to implement criteria to reduce, recycle and compost waste in restaurants. You can read more at

“Sustainability is imperative to our industry, other business communities and the general public. Working with Elemental Impact, we are bringing industry stakeholders together to enable our members to establish—and succeed in reaching—waste diversion and resource recovery goals,” said Scott DeFife, exec. v.p.-policy and government affairs.

Since the 2008 launch of the NRA’s Conserve initiative, operators have had access to a free online resource, the Conserve Solutions Center at the NRA Show, and other educational resources. Up next is the soon-to-be-launched Conserve Education and Recognition program.

The NRA’s multiyear strategic focus on conservation is getting even more attention in May when it joins Kendall College as co-founding sponsors of the International Foodservice Sustainability Symposium May 24-25 in Chicago, immediately following the NRA Show.

IFFS is billed as the first conference of its kind to focus exclusively on the more complex sustainability issues such as emerging technologies, green building and sustainable food.

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