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New Year’s Resolutions: Sustainable Catering

Olivia Kelley

January 23, 2020


As more and more companies begin to incorporate sustainability practices into their offices, it’s important to think about small changes you can make to create a greener, more sustainable work environment. If your company has a corporate catering program, it may be time to assess how that program aligns with your company’s mission and values. 

When it comes to sustainable catering, we can help you get started. Here are four ways to reduce your office’s carbon footprint, while still enjoying a delicious, catered meal with your team! 

Embrace Family Style Meals

When everyone in the office is ordering something different to eat, the result is often lots of individual meals with extra plastic bags, utensils, and packaging that you don’t need. Family style meals served on a buffet line keep things simple. This gets rid of the additional packaging that comes with individual meals and cuts down on your office’s carbon footprint. 

Family style meals are typically sourced from one vendor, reducing the environmental impact that comes with transporting the food. In some cities, food is even delivered by foot, bicycle, or train to mitigate potential traffic delays and reduce the number of vehicles on the road.

Utilize Vendors Who Source Locally

Many chain restaurants and even some large caterers source their ingredients from far-off suppliers. This requires long haul transportation resulting in considerable fuel emissions. Talk to your caterer about incorporating local businesses into your catered meal program. Working with vendors who source ingredients locally reduces the environmental impact of long haul transportation and helps support your local economy!

Substitute Paperware and Utensils for Sustainable Options

One of the easiest changes you can make in your office is to get rid of paper plates and plastic utensils that will just end up in the trash. Instead, try switching to fully compostable products. This is perfect if your office already composts food scraps. You can toss in your compostable paperware and utensils along with it. You can also switch from plastic serving utensils to reusable stainless steel options. Small changes like these will make a huge difference when it comes to your office’s environmental impact!

Donate Your Surplus

In select cities, partners with organizations, like Replate, that will pick up your surplus food. This helps reduce food waste, while feeding those in need in local communities. Donating your surplus also makes a meaningful impact on greenhouse gas emissions and land, water, and fuel usage by reducing food waste going into landfills.

It may not seem like much, but even small changes to your office catering program really can make a difference! You’re only a few steps away from working with a partner who can help you reach your sustainability goals. Talk to a catering expert and see what you can do to make a change today! If you’re wondering what other ways you can make your office more sustainable, check out our blog, 6 Easy Ways to Create An Eco-Friendly Office



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—Ellen K., Employee Experience Specialist,