According to research from the National Restaurant Association, more restaurant and foodservice operators are practicing sustainability in their daily business operations.

In a recent survey, 500 restaurant owners and operators gave their insights on the challenges and opportunities that come from more sustainable operations. Among those surveyed, here were some key findings:

  • 79 percent use CFL or LED lighting
  • 46 percent use EPA Energy Star-rated refrigerators
  • 65 percent recycle cardboard and paper
  • 64 percent recycle fats, oils and grease
  • 29 percent recycle aluminum or metal cans and rigid plastics
  • 26 percent recycle glass
  • 47 percent track food waste
  • 22 percent donate leftover food
  • 14 percent compost food waste

These practices reflect a growing demand for transparency on sustainability practices from consumers. A report from market researcher The Hartman Group in late 2017 stated that nearly 70 percent of 1,500 U.S. adult consumers surveyed expressed a desire for more transparency from companies about their sustainability practices.

“Consumers associate transparency with how authentically committed a company is to ethical action,” says Laurie Demeritt, chief executive officer of The Hartman Group.