Dining Services awarded three Certified Green Restaurant designations

Partner Aramark got the first certified green Chick-fil-a in the world

Honeycomb Café, Chick-fil-A, and Global Café at the University of South Carolina have all earned Level 1 Certified Green Restaurant® status, meeting the Green Restaurant Association’s rigorous sustainability certification program.  Each location implemented a minimum of 20 environmental steps to meet the certification.  If all of America’s restaurants followed in their leadership of becoming a Level 1 Certified Green Restaurant®, it would be a transformative step forward towards environmental sustainability.

This Chick-fil-A location is the first one in the world to become a Certified Green Restaurant® .

“The restaurant industry has an enormous impact on our environment,” says Michael Oshman, CEO and Founder of the Green Restaurant Association. “We applaud The University of South Carolina for improving its environmental practices in a transparent fashion that provides its dining customers with the information and integrity they deserve.” 

Restaurants consume 1/3 of all electricity in the retail sector. Dining out accounts for over half of our food budget. With issues of climate change, ocean pollution, and sustainable food at the forefront of this year’s headlines, it’s important to note The University of South Carolina’s leadership in environmental sustainability.   

University of South Carolina Sustainability Efforts

Carolina Food Co. has been a solid partner for advancing campus sustainability since arriving on campus in 2017,” says Office of Sustainability Directory Larry Cook. “This certification from the Green Restaurant Association recognizes their commitment to support UofSC’s sustainability initiatives through responsible sourcing, waste minimization, efficient operations, and providing healthy and sustainable food choices. The University’s recently redeveloped strategic plan prioritizes sustainable practices throughout campus. Sustainable dining initiatives are an important piece of our institutional efforts to advance sustainability. Systemic and measurable improvements are the pathway we must take to achieve our goal to become a national leader in institutional sustainability.”

“Sustainability isn’t just something we do, it is part of who we are,” says Carolina Food Co. Sustainability Manager Scott Warner. “We have been working toward certifications since 2019, and we are so excited to accomplish them. We’re looking forward to pursuing higher levels of certification at these three locations with the hope that our guests follow our lead and implement sustainable practices into their own daily rhythms.”

The University of South Carolina is in the process of submitting data to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education for the STARS report (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System). Certifications like these from the Green Restaurant Association help schools earn credit in the STARS report, which is an international benchmarking survey for colleges and universities. UofSC previously earned a Silver Rating in 2016 and is currently working toward Gold Rating. 

About the Green Restaurant Association
The Green Restaurant Association is a national non-profit organization that provides the only official Certified Green Restaurants® mark in the country. Since 1990, the GRA has pioneered the Green Restaurant® movement and has been the leading voice within the industry encouraging restaurants to listen to consumer demand to green their operations using transparent, science-based certification standards. With their turnkey certification system, the GRA has made it easy for thousands of restaurants to become more environmentally sustainable in a profitable manner. The GRA has been featured on CNN, NBC Nightly News, NPR, and in The New York Times, and The Washington Post. For more information visit www.dinegreen.com.

About University of South Carolina

The University of South Carolina is a globally recognized, high-impact research university committed to a superior student experience and dedicated to innovation in learning, research and community engagement. Founded in 1801, the university offers more than 350 degree programs and is the state's only top-tier Carnegie Foundation research institution. More than 50,000 students are enrolled at one of 20 locations throughout the state, including the research campus in Columbia. With 56 nationally ranked academic programs including top-ranked programs in international business, the nation's best honors college and distinguished programs in engineering, law, medicine, public health and the arts, the university is helping to build healthier, more educated communities in South Carolina and around the world.

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