Task force to focus on reducing industry’s environmental impact while supporting business growth

May 21, 2007
Contact: Annika Stensson (202) 973-3677, Sue Hensley 202-331-5964

(Washington, D.C.) The National Restaurant Association announced today that it is forming a new Board of Directors task force to take the lead on implementing the Association’s recently launched environmental initiative and encourage the nation’s 935,000 restaurant-and-foodservice outlets to adopt practices that are good for both business and the environment. The Green Task Force is being created at the Association’s Board meeting and trade show in Chicago, and will be chaired by Niki Leondakis, chief operating officer of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. The Association launched its environmental initiative in the summer of 2006, and received a grant from the Turner Foundation in April 2007 to continue its efforts.

“As we are advancing our environmental initiative, we called on our Board of Directors to provide guidance toward guiding the nation’s restaurant-and-foodservice outlets toward sustainable operations,” said Association Acting Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Kilgore. “The Board directors serving on our Green Task Force have the experience and the passion for environmental issues and are a great resource to us and to the industry as we move forward with our efforts.”

The goal of the Green Task Force will be to provide support and guidance to the Association and the industry, as well as to help educate and inspire restaurants of any size and concept to conserve natural resources while supporting the economic successes of the $537 billion industry and individual operations.

The initiative was created to educate and guide restaurateurs toward eco-friendly, business-smart practices and the Association is currently developing an online information clearinghouse, including the publication of research conducted in the first phase of the initiative. The goal of the overall initiative is to identify practices that conserve energy, water and other natural resources, increase recycling, and encourage the creation and use of sustainable materials and alternative energy sources that also reduce operational costs for restaurants.

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