Sustainability Overview

We can help you attain your sustainability goals.

Creative Dining builds and supports robust and customized sustainability programs within your dining program that align with your overarching goals. Don’t yet have a sustainability plan and want one? We’ll lead the way – from source reduction and waste stream management to food donations and local farm partnerships. We’re positioned to take your sustainability work to the highest level.

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People + Planet + Profit

Our Triple Bottom Line approach to sustainability means we consider the social, environmental and economic impact of our operational decisions every day. We can help you provide a sustainable future for your community and the planet. Our eco-conscious training and education to our dining teams and clients is where it starts.

Transform your culture and engage your workforce with restaurant-like dining programs tailored to your brand.

Our Grow™ Program: Environmental Sustainability

There is increasing pressure for corporate and college campuses as well as adult living communities to be more environmentally and socially responsible. It has become a significant differentiator. Your diners want to know what is in their food and where it was grown.

Through a balanced approach and responsible programming, Creative Dining creates lasting value for all stakeholders: customers, employees, suppliers, communities and the environment. Our portfolio of customizable sustainability options, under the umbrella of our GROW™ program, nourishes people and nurtures the planet with proven practices. Our initiatives support and elevate your goals to impact: 

  • Responsible food purchasing
  • Energy and water conservation
  • Waste stream management
  • Food waste source reduction and rescue
  • Sustainable environments such as LEED Certified

Best Practices

Implementing sustainability best practices is important for maximum impact, particularly on our local communities.

Here are a few of the best practices we follow:

  • Tracking purchases from food and beverage companies within 150 miles from our dining locations
  • Continual growth of our network of smaller, local, regional farmers and producers
  • Building a robust vendor partner portfolio of producers of sustainable products bearing third party designations such as Marine Stewardship Certified, Cage-Free, Fair Trade Certified
  • Partnering with the Humane Society of the United States and integrating principles into our menus.

Menus of Change®

Is your organization interested in reducing carbon emissions? Do you want to lessen your environmental footprint? We align with the Menus of Change® program to do just that.

It consists of 24 operational and menuing principles crafted by the chefs and scientists from the Culinary Institute of America and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Here are a few principles our chefs follow, without sacrificing flavor:

  • Plant-forward menuing with fresh produce and whole grains
  • Fresh and seasonal ingredients, local and global
  • Whole, minimally processed foods
  • Smaller portions and less refined sugars
  • Quality over quantity: scratch cooking over canned or overly processed

Smart Sourcing with FARMSTEAD™

We forge direct partnerships with local farmers, food hubs and artisans through Creative Dining’s proprietary FARMSTEAD™ program. This direct purchasing, which vets for quality, empowers small family-owned producers with a market they may not otherwise have access to.

What do we hope to accomplish with FARMSTEAD™ in our communities? More jobs, stronger local economies, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions reduction because of the lower miles food has to travel to get to our kitchens.

Cage-free eggs, direct trade coffee and tea programs, and tracking purchasing compliance rules for WELL™ and LEED® certifications round out our smart sourcing initiatives.

Waste Stream Management

Waste reduction is priority one. What does that mean? The best way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place. As part of our IMPACT ZERO™ initiatives, we educate our dining teams on water and energy reduction tactics, just-in-time food purchasing, and production planning to keep our operations lean, reducing waste before it even happens. Then, we deploy successful practices for handling the waste we do have. A few of our tactics are:

  • Our “You’ve Got the Power” training on best practices for energy and water audits and reduction for the Food Services Technology Center
  • Comprehensive recycling and composting programs
  • Key partnerships with U.S. manufactured, BPI certified compostable-ware
  • Reusable mug programs and non-hydrogenated oil recycling
  • 10-point operational food waste protocols for food waste source education, rescue and donation

Recycling and Composting

We fully participate in your existing recycling and composting programming, or if you want to build a new program, we can help! Creative Dining also provides product selection and pricing analysis for eco-friendly tableware. We work with you to implement proven practices that align with and enhance your organizational values. Creative Dining helps you implement comprehensive waste management programs that include:

  • Food Pulping
  • Recycling
  • Commercial Composting
  • Food Waste Tracking
  • Food Rescue

Sustainable Design & Wellness

We support sustainable design and wellness with LEED® design assistance, WELL™ building operations, on-site vegetable and herb gardens and bee apiaries. 

Cage-free eggs, direct trade coffee and tea programs, and tracking purchasing compliance rules for WELL and LEED® certifications round out our smart sourcing initiatives.

LEED® & WELL™ Certification

Are you seeking LEED® certification? Our LEED-accredited Director of Sustainability and her team will work to integrate your existing green programming into food service operations, including sourcing Energy Star® kitchen equipment and sustainable materials. We provide LEED® hospitality design and LEED-accredited professional kitchen design.

Creative Dining also currently supports our clients and their pursuit of maintaining a WELL™ Certification, a third-party verified health-safety rating focused on facilities operations and management across multiple building types.

Our management structure, operational protocols and supply chain enables us to meet the 43 food service requirements for WELL™ Certification compliance, such as fresh fruits and vegetables daily and robust food labeling.