Green Ideas

In this award-winning column, Foodservice Equipment & Supplies looks at best practices, case studies and more on how to take the best ideas in green building and operations and apply it to your foodservice operation.

Myths and Realities Re: New Refrigeration Rules

Last July, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a series of new rules prohibiting certain refrigerants because of their high global warming potential (GWP). The announcements, however, started a flurry of rumors, worries and myths in the foodservice community because of the confusion about which refrigerants would be banned and how that might affect existing equipment and future selections.

Developing and Maintaining a Sustainability Plan

Sometimes it seems there’s a plan for everything. A plan for the day. A plan for the weekend, when you might meet up with friends or go on a family outing. A plan for the kitchen, so you know what needs to go where. A plan for the project, with goals, actions and assessments.

Werewolf Cookline Project: An Update

In our August issue, FE&S published "Comprehensive Commercial Kitchen Equipment Retrofit," the first article in a series about the cookline project taking place at Werewolf Bar & Grill in San Diego and at other foodservice operations on the West Coast. Earlier this year, the PG&E Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) in San Ramon, Calif., teamed up with SoCalGas and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) for a grant project awarded by the California Energy Commission to study kitchen system optimization in commercial foodservice and the use of high-efficiency commercial cooking equipment in various foodservice operations.

Maximizing Rebates When Purchasing Foodservice Equipment

Rebates for energy-saving commercial foodservice equipment can be an incredible resource. This becomes especially relevant when the cost of this equipment teeters on the high range and operators continue to look for ways to prove ROI. Offered by the EPA’s Energy Star program as well as utility companies around the country, rebates can save foodservice operators up to thousands of dollars on equipment. For some operators, a $500 rebate can mean the difference between buying or not buying a specific piece of foodservice equipment.

Case Study: Researching the Kitchen of the Future

The kitchen of the future has long been a topic of discussion for David Zabrowski of PG&E’s Food Service Technology Center (FSTC) and Don Fisher of Fisher Consulting. This modern day cookline, they say, would feature all energy- and water-saving appliances as well as optimal design, enhanced operator education and maintenance that could get us closer to the unthinkable in our industry: net zero energy.

Meet Five Champions of Sustainability

For this special Green Tip article, FE&S caught up with five champions of sustainability to hear their thoughts on the state and future of green in the foodservice industry.

Green Case Study: Panda Express

Panda Restaurant Group, operator of Panda Express, Hibachi-San Japanese Grill and Panda Inn, a modern Asian concept, has been on a steady path toward sustainability for the last decade.

Green Tip: LEED Volume Certification

After several chains embraced the LEED for Retail pilot program prior to its launch in 2009, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) introduced a series of volume programs designed to make it easier for companies wanting to create LEED prototypes and duplicate those efforts on a larger scale.

Warewasher Energy Management

Warewashers — they’re the workhorses of the back of the house. They clean. They sanitize. And now they can even help lower energy consumption. Sure, you can specify a qualified energy-efficient model and call it a day, but more often than not, user error and maintenance neglects will cut into your energy- and water-saving potential over the long haul. So we asked Amin Delagah, project engineer and resident water guru for the Food Service Technology Center in San Ramon, Calif., to review some of the best practices for optimal performance and maintenance to maximize both energy and water for four main dishwasher types.