Cincinnati Zoo, Harvard and Others Earn Sustainability Nods

The Green Restaurant Association has announced its 2024 awards, honoring sustainability-minded foodservice operators.

Sustainable business models

With Earth Day on the horizon, the Boston-based Green Restaurant Association honored sustainable operators, including a vegan California restaurant and none other than Harvard University.

The former operation, MUSE Global Kitchen, located in Calabasas, Calif., actually earned three separate honors: Greenest Restaurant, Greenest K-12 School Cafeteria and Sustainable Food. MUSE, a four-star certified operation that also was recognized in 2023, has on-site solar panels which produce 70% of its annual energy usage. The restaurant also composts pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste, purchases organic food, and uses reusable and recycled products, says the GRA.

Also of note this year, Cougar Woods Dining Commons at the University of Houston led the way—becoming the first Certified Green Restaurant to earn a Sustainable Seafood honor for having 100% sustainable seafood.

Additional recipients of the 2024 Green Restaurant Awards were as follows:

  • Greenest Independent Restaurant: Kitchen Sync in Greenville, S.C.
  • Greenest NYC Restaurant: Well& By Durst
  • Greenest Airport: John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens, N.Y.
  • Greenest Airport Contractor: SSP America
  • Greenest University: Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass.
  • Greenest University Restaurant: Whitney Dining at the University of Connecticut
  • Greenest K-12 Contractor: Flik Hospitality
  • Greenest Chain: Arooga’s Grille House and Sports Bar (13 units across the northeast and Florida)
  • Greenest Food Contractor: Compass
  • Greenest Caterer and Waste Reduction (two honors): Big Delicious Planet
  • Greenest Corporate Cafeteria: Hertz Corporate Headquarters Cafe in Estero, Fla.
  • Greenest Zoo Restaurant: The Cincinnati Zoo’s Base Camp Cafe
  • Reusables & Green Disposables: Chauncey’s Choice at Coastal Carolina University
  • Energy Conservation & Renewable Energy: Carvers’ Cafe at Mt. Rushmore
  • Furnishing & Building: 50 Burger in Salida, Colo.
  • Chemical & Pollution Reduction: Putnam Dining at UConn
  • Water Conservation: The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden’s Outpost Café
  • Green Marketing: Hunter’s Head Tavern at Ayrshire Farm in Upperville, Va.
  • Green Social Media: Tall Guy and a Grill (caterer)
  • Green Employee Leader: Kyle Phillips, VP of concepts and development at SSP America

To learn more about the Green Restaurant Association and certified restaurants, visit dinegreen.com.

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