National Restaurant Association Announces Second Stage of Its Eco-Friendly, Business-Smart Initiative

Second grant from Turner Foundation propels Association’s environmental initiative

(Washington, D.C.) The National Restaurant Association announced today that its multi-tiered environmental initiative is entering its second phase, boosted by a new grant from the Turner Foundation. The initiative was created to educate and guide restaurateurs toward eco-friendly, business-smart practices. The $185,000 grant will be used to develop an online information clearinghouse, including the publication of research conducted in the first phase of the initiative. 

“We are pleased to continue with this roadmap to sustainable restaurant operations,” said National Restaurant Association Acting Interim President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Kilgore.  “This second grant will enable us to create a Web site compiling information related to sustainable, ‘green’ operations, including our own study of current practices. We believe this initiative will prove to be a great step
toward an environmentally sound future while preserving the vitality of our $537 billion industry.”

The Association announced the launch of its new environmental initiative in August of 2006, and the first grant received from the Turner Foundation was awarded to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) to conduct research on ways restaurant operators conserve electricity, water, and other resources. 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. The Association aims to make the online information clearinghouse be live in the fall of 2007.

“Currently, more than three out of four restaurants use products made from recycled materials, and environmentally sound operations are a growing trend in the restaurant industry, as well as other industries. Since we launched our initiative, we have received a great deal of feedback from our members about their own conservation efforts, encouraging us to continue our efforts on this important subject,” Kilgore added.

“We are excited to enter this new stage of the National Restaurant Association’s environmental initiative, and believe it will be an excellent resource center for restaurant operators wishing to explore sustainable practices for their businesses,” said Turner Foundation President Michael Finley. “In addition to the great strides the
restaurant-and-foodservice industry is already taking toward sustainable operations, we believe the Association can play an important role in disseminating information, best practices and resources to inspire and encourage further development toward our common goal of protecting and restoring the environment.”

The Turner Foundation was established in 1990 by business magnate and  philanthropist Ted Turner with a vision toward the preservation and conservation of the environment throughout the world. In accordance with its invitation-only grant-making process, the National Restaurant Association was selected to join the ranks of other prestigious grantees.