Advancing Environmental Sustainability in Food Service

by | Oct 25, 2022 | News Releases

Planet Earth needs our help if it is going to survive! We’re talking about environmental sustainability, which is essential to a healthy future for our planet and everyone who calls it home.

Consumers are heeding the call by purchasing sustainable products and brands in growing numbers, as reported by Forbes.1 Why are they doing it?

  • 30% say they want to improve the environment
  • 23% want to reduce production waste
  • 22% choose to reduce their carbon footprint
  • 7% are concerned with animal welfare

Food service providers can help by making changes now that can result in a world of difference for our future. Let’s take a look.

Plant-based Initiatives

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, global livestock production makes up 14.5 percent of all human caused greenhouse gas emissions per year. While other animal sources of food produce fewer greenhouse gasses, plant-based sources produce significantly less than animal-based ones.2

Sprouting up each October in honor of National Vegetarian Month, VegFest offers our guests healthy, plant-based, and environmentally friendly foods that are mouthwatering and full of protein and flavor.

Should we be creating more plant-based dining options? Yes. Here are some ideas:

  • Explore new plant-based recipes that go beyond the typically offered pasta or hummus
  • Include more plant-based meal offerings as part of menu plans
  • Offer professional development to meal-preparation staff regarding plant-based education and culinary skills

Switch to Recyclable or Compostable Containers

You might be surprised to learn that the healthcare industry alone emits the same amount of greenhouse gasses every year as 100 coal-fired plants, as reported by Modern Healthcare.3

What can we do? Switch to recyclable or compostable containers, but remember:

  • Check to see if your local recycling facility accepts the containers that you are considering
  • Be sure your local landfill is set up for receiving compostables because not all are
  • Start a composting program at your school or business and make composting fun

Keep It Clean

The cleaning products you use matter. Here are some thoughts:

  • Switch to environmentally friendly cleaning agents
  • Buy recycled cleaning materials like mop heads made from recycled plastic with handles from renewable bamboo
  • Dispose of old toxic cleaning materials safely

Get Hands-On

Teaming up with other organizations in your community that support sustainability efforts can be fun and productive. Look for local groups such as:

  • The Humane Society
  • Earth911
  • Vegetarian groups
  • Mercy for Animals

Creating community events that your staff or students can participate in will help them learn more about environmental sustainability while making new friends.

No matter how you get started, take small steps with achievable goals that your organization can build on over time.  

Metz Culinary Management

At Metz Culinary Management, we currently offer 21%-25% plant-based meals, and have a goal of transition approximately 35% of meat-based meals to plant-based alternatives by 2025. We are committed to doing our part to be environmental stewards of our resources and working with our educational, corporate and our healthcare partners to do so.

For more information, visit:

1 Accessed 9.01.22.