The Bon Appétit Management Company Low Carbon Diet is the first national program to highlight the significant connections between food and climate change and take steps to reduce our contribution to the problem.
In April 2007, based on research gathered by the Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation, we announced operational initiatives to minimize our carbon impact significantly over five years. We have not only met our original commitment, but strengthened it.
To reduce our emissions from the highest-impact areas, we have:
Reduced purchasing of high carbon foods
- Beef—reduced by 33% (goal 25%)
- Cheese—reduced by 10%
- Tropical fruit—reduced by 50%
- Processed sweets, snacks and chocolate—reduced by 10%
Reduced wasteful practices
- Food waste—reduced by 30% (goal 25%) Of the remaining food waste, 40% is diverted to composting or to be used as pig feed
- To-go containers—reduced total usage by at least 10%
Focused on country of origin
- Air freight—eliminated 90% of air-freighted seafood (goal 100%)
- Source all of our meat, vegetables, nontropical fruit and bottled water from continental North America
Focused on education
- Hold an annual Low Carbon Diet Day celebration aimed at increasing awareness about how food choices affect climate change
At Bon Appétit, we believe that we have a responsibility to educate our guests. Here are some things you can do to reduce climate change:
Don’t waste food
Food waste is responsible for more methane emissions than any source besides cattle, sheep and goats.
- Select food you expect to eat.
- If you don’t finish all your food in one sitting, save the leftovers for another meal.
Eat seasonal and regional foods
Foods that are not in season where you live are often air-freighted and are therefore more emissions-intensive.
- Buy foods that are in season in your region.
- Don’t buy produce grown in greenhouses heated with nonrenewable energy—even if they’re close to you.
Eat less meat and cheese
Livestock creates 18 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
- Eat meat and cheese less frequently.
- When you do eat meat and cheese, consider reducing portion sizes.
Understand what “fresh” means
For seafood, imported cheese and premium produce, “fresh” often means “air-freighted,” which is 10 times more emissions-intensive than transporting products by ship.
- Buy seasonal produce that is grown locally—it even tastes better.
- Select seafood that is frozen at sea—it’s generally the best quality.
Skip processed and packaged foods
Snack food, most juices and even veggie burgers (prepared, boxed, frozen and transported) use up a lot of energy in processing.
- When you need a treat or a quick bite, choose fresh local fruit, small quantities of nuts and homemade alternatives.
With every meal you eat, you have the power to reduce climate change. Learn more at: www.eatlowcarbon.org