UNH Dining kicked-off the spring semester with a major accomplishment. Both Stillings and Philbrook have joined Holloway Commons in becoming certified as official Two-Star Green Restaurants by the Green Restaurant Association (GRA).
To receive the two-star rating, UNH Dining has taken 51 environmental initiatives in six categories in order to reduce the campus’s overall environmental impact.
These six categories include sourcing sustainable food, conserving energy, reducing water usage, minimizing chemical pollution, reducing waste through recycling, and using environmentally preferred disposables when required.
Stillings Dining Hall received its certification late November of last year and Philbrook closely followed and was also recognized as a Two-Star Green Restaurant in the first week of the spring 2016 semester.
“We take our sustainability practices really seriously and we’re very proud of that,” said David Hill, assistant director of culinary operations for UNH.
Hill worked closely with the Green Restaurant Association in taking the necessary steps for the university’s dining halls to be recognized by the organization.
The GRA uses a point system to assess the environmental impact that restaurants have in various categories and then provides strategies and recommendations to be implemented for sustainability improvements. These GreenPoints™ determine how many stars the restaurant＊s green certification gets. The levels start at a 1-Star Beta certification and go up to four-stars.
“We were really close to begin with,” Hill said.
According to Hill, the initial assessment was a long process, which included a lot of information about UNH’s dining practices. Invoices, pictures, and Skype video-calls were a critical part of the assessment.
“I even had to count how many light bulbs were in each dining hall and provide their type,” Hill said about the process.
The final product along with the two-star rating was a certification report, which can be found online on UNH Dining’s website.
The Green Restaurant Association is a non-profit organization that has been providing restaurants, food-distributors, and consumers with a platform to be more environmentally responsible since 1990. In the last 26 years, the GRA has certified thousands of restaurants across 47 states and Canada.