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McDonald's releases Best of Green environmental report

McDonald's Corp. released its 2012 Best of Green Report this week, a collection of its 90 best practices that focus on the environment and provide an impact for the company's business. (Full Article)

Harden's becomes first guide to highlight restaurants' sustainability

The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) and Harden's have announced a partnership that will make Harden's guides the first in the UK to highlight restaurants' sustainability credentials alongside their ratings for food, service and atmosphere. (Full Article)

Why Going Green Can Mean Big Money for Fast-Food Chains

In late 2008, a fast-food burger restaurant in Sweden received an odd complaint letter. It was from a mother of two, asking the chain to get rid of the boxes that its kids' meals were packaged in. Her children only wanted the fries and toys, she said, and she was annoyed at having to throw the boxes straight into the recycling bin. It was an unusual request with an unusual outcome. Max Burgers � Sweden's No. 1 burger chain � decided to do away with the kids'-meal boxes in all of its 75 restaurants, explaining to customers that it was reducing waste. No one complained. In fact, sales of kids' meals rose. The company had turned sustainability into a selling point. (Full Article)

ENERGY STAR� Commercial Food Service Newsletter

Quarterly Energy Star Commercial Food Service Newsletter Topics include: Utility Partner Spotlights, 20th Anniversary, Growing Demand for Efficient Food Service Equipment, updates to Energy Star commercial kitchen equipment standards, upcoming events and NRA Conserve educational program. (Full Article)

Going Green on a Shoestring

It is possible to go green without spending a lot of green. Bread & Brew, a Washington, D.C.-based restaurant that includes a caf�, bar and catering business, had very limited funds to draw from before opening three years ago, but owner Teri Vangoethem would not compromise her sustainability goals. (Full Article)

2 more reasons to eliminate BPA: Obesity and diabetes

A group of chemicals that carry the moniker of "gender benders" may be causing increased rates of obesity and diabetes, according to a new report out of the U.K. (Full Article)

The State of Our Water

Take a drive through California's Central Valley, and you'll be driving through � well, not quite the breadbasket of the U.S., but more like its salad bowl. The area's mild climate means farmers are growing something nearly year-round, be it lettuce, tomatoes, oranges, almonds, or even pomegranates. Dairy farms in the southern part of the valley round out the agricultural landscape; California produces more milk than any other state in the nation. (Full Article)

Renewable Energy Technologies to be Showcased at Wisconsins Green Leaf Inn

We will have to wait until next spring to see it but the Green Leaf Inn is expected to be one of the most innovative lodging establishments ever to open in North America. Located on five acres in Delavan, Wis., the 19-suite property will showcase renewable energy technologies including solar, solar thermal, wind, cogeneration, and geothermal. The combination of systems will make the inn a net zero energy property, meaning that it will produce more energy than it consumes. The inn will also feature an on-site aerobic waste water treatment system. Yes, that means human waste will be treated on-site. There will also be an 18,000 gallon rainwater storage tank to store water that will be reused on the property. (Full Article)

Water � Way to go

WATER FLOWS through foodservice operations like there is no tomorrow� and if we carry on the way we are there won't be. But don't worry, help is at hand to stem the flow. Nick Hughes reports. (Full Article)

Raising the standard

OPERATORS WHO are dragging their heels about whether or not to buy sustainable catering equipment won't have that luxury of choice much longer as Europe moves to impose energy efficiency standards. Kathy Bowry talks to Keith Warren, director of the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association. (Full Article)

In downtown Portland, start-up offers food-cart patrons an alternative to the takeout container

The world of the food cart spins on the axis of takeout containers. This notion distressed devoted cart patron Laura Weiss, a Portland environmentalist by education and employment. (Full Article)

Restaurant chains going green in response to consumer demand

2011 was the strongest year thus far for chains beginning the process toward certification, and for achieving certification, according to GRA CEO Michael Oshman. (Full Article)

Mintel: Local produce edging out organic in terms of consumer importance

According to the latest research data from Mintel, locally purchased fruits and vegetables by grocery stores and restaurants are now more important to consumers than organic options. Mintel research found that 52 percent of consumers reported that it's more important to buy local produce than organic. (Full Article)

NRA Forecasts "Greener" Restaurants In 2012

A majority of restaurateurs across all industry segments plan to invest in "green" technology this year, according to the National Restaurant Association. The association's 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast reports that more operators will invest in "eco-friendly" equipment and fixtures to help attract the 41% of consumers who say they're likely to make their restaurant choices based on whether the establishments they frequent practice environmental conservation. (Full Article)

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