From the Editor: The Green Challenge

Photo by Nick Wong

The future is green. Or at least, that’s what we’d all like to believe.

In recent decades, there’s been a great deal of talk about sustainability. Whether we focus in on climate change, on food waste or on recycling efforts, we all like to believe we’re committed to greening. But while talk is cheap, there’s only been a handful of companies that have truly lived by this ethos. But that’s no longer enough. We can’t rely on the efforts of a few to make the kind of impact we need. If we are truly to achieve success on this front, we need to be all in.

Certainly, there are many stellar foodservice companies making great inroads in this area, and today’s chefs are increasingly mindful of waste and should be lauded for their efforts. But we have a long way to go to truly create the impact we need. While the simple mantra of the three R’s: reducing, recycling and re-using apply more today than ever, we need to become more comprehensive in our efforts. To truly be sustainable, we need to focus on all elements of our infrastructure — from transportation, to the energy we use, to our water supply, to waste — not just food waste but also water and energy waste. We need to focus on the kinds of products we use in the kitchen and reduce our carbon footprint. And, we need to treat our oceans and lakes with the respect they deserve. The only way to accomplish this is to ensure your business has a sustainability strategy in place and provide practical steps that are easy for staff to follow while engaging them to follow suit.

At the Restaurants Canada show held in Toronto last month, one of the presenters at the Breakfast of Champions cited statistics that show that 58 per cent of the food we produce never gets eaten. Another harsh reality, the average Canadian household wastes almost $2,000 of food every year. To put it into perspective, on a global front, food waste equates to $1.2 trillion. Those are staggering numbers and speak to a recklessness of spirit that needs to be eliminated — both by consumers and businesses — especially at a time when we’re grappling with food insecurity and increasing costs.

But let’s not forget that sustainability is all encompassing. Certainly, it’s about focusing on all the points mentioned above. But it’s also about paying staff living wages so they can have a sustainable future, treating them equitably and giving them a voice. That’s the true measure of sustainability.

At the end of the day, if we can’t all work towards this common goal, how viable is the future for our children and their children’s children.

NB: Kostuch Media Ltd. is proud to present its annual Green Leadership Awards at our Top-30-under-30 Leadership Summit, scheduled on June 13th, held at the Toronto Sheraton Centre.

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Rosanna Caira is the editor and publisher of Kostuch Media’s Foodservice and Hospitality, and Hotelier magazines. In her capacity as editor of Canada’s two leading hospitality publications, Rosanna directs the editorial and graphic content of both publications, and is responsible for the editorial vision of the magazines, its five websites as well as the varied tertiary products including e-newsletters, supplements and special projects. In addition to her editorial duties, Rosanna also serves as publisher of the company, directing the strategic development of the Sales and Marketing, Production and Circulation departments. Rosanna is the face of the magazines, representing the publications at industry functions and speaking engagements. She serves on various committees and Boards, including the Board of Directors of the Canadian Hospitality Foundation. She is a recipient of the Ontario Hostelry’s Gold Award in the media category. In 2006, Rosanna was voted one of the 32 most successful women of Italian heritage in Canada. Rosanna is a graduate of Toronto’s York University, where she obtained a BA degree in English literature.

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