More consumers than ever are pushing businesses to engage in eco-friendly practices. One poll found that 80% of customers take sustainability into consideration when making a purchase. The food service industry is being forced to conform to these expectations.
Even 45% of fast-food customers consider the carbon footprint of the restaurants they are purchasing from. That figure is a lot higher with local restaurants and those that cater to a more middle-class and elite clientele. Another study found that 83% of consumers want restaurants to do more to promote sustainability.
If you are running a restaurant, then you have to take reasonable steps to reduce your carbon footprint. One of the most important things that you can do is develop a supply-chain model built around sustainability. They can do a lot by hiring a good fleet management company. Restaurants should make sure that their supplier has a good fleet maintenance management practice in place can lower their carbon footprint, because well serviced vehicles tend to be more energy efficient.
Here are some tips for creating a sustainable supply-chain system.
Work with farmers that use environmentally friendly agricultural practices
You will want to consider purchasing food from farmers that make sustainability one of their primary business principles. More farmers are taking new steps to reduce their carbon footprint. They are using new water conservation techniques to minimize water waste.
Some farmers are also taking advantage of other sustainable farming practices like vertical farming methodologies. However, it is important to figure out how effective their vertical farming techniques really are. Vertical farming can have a lower carbon footprint in the long term if it is done correctly, because it minimizes waste. On the other hand, poorly implemented vertical farming strategies can be worse for the environment, because they are less energy efficient if not optimized correctly.
You want to find out what practices the farmers you are purchasing from are using. This will help you determine which farmers are taking eco-friendly approaches to sustainability.
Use an eco-friendly fleet management company
You should also think about the fleet management company that you are going to be working with. Some of these companies are highly dedicated to sustainability. They take a number of measures to reduce their carbon footprint, which include:
- Properly optimizing their route. Poorly planned shipping routes will increase the carbon footprint of a fleet management company. This is obviously due to the fact that the drivers will use more gas when they have to travel farther than necessary. You will want to work with a fleet management company that has planned it routes carefully to minimize fuel waste.
- Using of eco-friendly vehicles. Sustainable fleet management companies will also try using eco-friendly vehicles. They might rely on solar power or hybrid trucks. It is difficult to find companies that are highly reliant on environmentally friendly vehicles, but you can find them if you look.
- Using responsible drivers. You also want to find out what the track record is for the drivers with the fleet management company. Drivers that don’t have a lot of speeding tickets will probably have a lower carbon footprint. This is because it takes more fuel per mile to drive at faster speeds.
You want to do your due diligence when you are hiring a fleet management company. This will help you avoid harming the environment more than necessary by hiring a company that burns excessive fossil fuels.
Use reliable, renewal energy-based refrigerators and freezers
A growing number of refrigerators and freezers are run by renewable energy. You will want to seriously consider investing them, because these appliances use more energy than most other parts of your business.
However, it is obviously important to make sure that they are dependable. You don’t want to use a freezer or refrigerator that is going to fail to keep your food at the right temperature. Otherwise, you will end up having to throw it all out, which is only going to cost your business a lot of money and increase your overall carbon footprint since you will have to have it shipped all over again.
According to an analysis from Ethical Consumer, the most eco-friendly freezer is made by Samsung. They have a freezer that only uses 203 kW of energy per year, which is 33% less than the next most sustainable freezer that was studied.