Sustainability Education Initiative Specifically Tailored to Meet the Needs of Foodservice Industry

Kendall College's School of Culinary Arts has announced an ecological sustainability education initiative, specifically tailored to meet the needs of the foodservice industry. Announced today at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant Hotel-Motel Show, the nationwide initiative was launched with the release of a brief instructional video.

“Environmental stewardship is a cornerstone of our mission to prepare and inspire students to become industry leaders and responsible global citizens,” according to Kendall President Nivine Megahed, Ph.D. “This program and video are additional opportunities to teach and lead by example.”

Produced by Kendall College in cooperation with the Green Restaurant Association (GRA) and available free at www.kendall.edu, the production explains the basics of environmental sustainability and how foodservice industry professionals can take a few simple steps to benefit both their businesses and the environment. Many of the video’s tips can be implemented at little or no cost and result in operational savings. Kendall is exploring the development of a number of other resources such as training materials for foodservice personnel, instructional materials for use by educators, presentations at foodservice industry conferences, and additional videos.

“Like steps on the path to greater sustainability, this video is Kendall’s first step in its quest to reach beyond its own walls to become the educational ‘go to’ source for foodservice professionals everywhere,” stated Christopher Koetke, CEC, CCE, dean of Kendall’s School of Culinary Arts. “Like sustainability itself, this initiative is a journey that Kendall is committed to for the long term. It will continue to expand as the science and technology of sustainability evolve.”

The sustainability program is a natural extension of Kendall’s own long-term commitment to ecological sustainability. Most recently, the college’s two restaurants were the first in a culinary school to become Certified Green Restaurants™ by the Green Restaurant Association. The certification process includes an environmental assessment by a GRA specialist and Kendall’s completion of four new environmental steps.

“We are proud to count Kendall College’s restaurants among the nation’s Certified Green Restaurants™. It is also an honor to collaborate with an educational institution of its stature in our mission to help the foodservice industry achieve ecological sustainability,” said GRA Executive Director Michael Oshman. “The school is to be commended both for its own sustainability accomplishments and its educational outreach that can impact the environment on an even bigger scale.”

In 2007, Kendall College was the recipient of the Green Award presented by Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI). Created in 1996 to recognize and applaud exemplary efforts in ecology and environmentally sensitive hospitality operations, it was only the fifth such award presented by FCSI — which does not commit to an annual presentation unless a worthy recipient is evident — and the first ever to a culinary-training program.

Kendall’s School of Culinary Arts embarked on its eco-friendly journey in 2005, under the leadership of Koetke, when its Riverworks campus opened in Chicago’s Goose Island neighborhood. Kendall has developed a robust sustainability curriculum and guiding principles that are an integral part of both its educational programs and operational practices. It addresses everything from composting, recycling and energy-conservation programs to sourcing locally grown, organic ingredients. The school also operates its own sustainable garden that grows produce for its restaurants and teaches students the basics of sustainable agriculture.

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