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06/17/2021

Bon Appétit Management Company Announces Ambitious New Climate Change Policy

Food service pioneer builds on nearly 15 years of action against climate change with new commitment to calorie-based emissions reductions.
Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor (Hotels)
Michal Christine  Escobar  profile picture

Building on a long history of taking action against the food system’s role in climate change, Bon Appétit Management Company is proud to announce an ambitious new climate change policy. Known for its culinary expertise and socially responsible practices, the food service company is committed to reducing emissions by 38%, per calorie of food, by 2030. In tandem, Bon Appétit is also introducing a set of tools to assist clients in meeting their own emissions reduction goals. As a food service management company with operations on the sites of colleges and universities, corporate offices, and cultural institutions in 33 states, Bon Appétit’s food purchases represent the vast majority of its total emissions. The processes of growing, transporting, packaging, and refrigerating food culminates in one-third of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

The new companywide commitment aligns with the science-based criteria of the World Resources Institute and objectives outlined by the Paris Agreement, which seek to prevent global warming past 1.5 Celsius. By targeting calories instead of a net emissions reduction target, Bon Appétit centers the conversation on food as a significant contributor to climate change. The company will work to achieve this ambitious calorie-based target, without the use of external carbon offsets, by arming its chefs, operations teams, and guests with new tools and easy ways to make food choices that are lower in carbon, such as:

  • An update to Bon Appétit’s proprietary reporting tool, the Food Standards Dashboard, will soon deliver World Resources Institute-compatible data tracking that synthesizes a complex set of purchasing and sustainability data to offer a snapshot of where greenhouse gas emissions are most impactful in an operation.
  • Bon Appétit will continue to track red meat and cheese consumption through the Food Standards Dashboard, as it has done since 2007, and has set an aggressive target of less than 1-ounce-per-guest-per-meal for beef and less than 2.5 ounces for all meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Bon Appétit’s Plant-Forward Culinary Collaborative – a working group of chefs tasked with creating plant-forward resources for the company’s culinary staff – will work together with the company’s wellness team to conduct regional plant-forward trainings, helping to skew menus away from carbon-intensive meat and cheese, and toward plants.
  • Additional tools in support of reaching this goal will be announced this summer.

“Addressing the climate change impacts of the food system calls for a sustained commitment to improvement,” says Bon Appétit cofounder and CEO Fedele Bauccio. “Since 2007, we’ve been addressing climate change as a company and I look forward to dramatically reducing our impact with this new commitment, and to helping our clients across the country meet their emissions reduction goals.”

Bon Appétit is building on its legacy of fighting the climate change impacts of the food system by tackling these Scope 3 impacts. In 2007, the company launched the Low Carbon Diet, the first program created by a food service company to tackle food’s role in contributing to climate change. This program evolved in 2015 to Bon Appétit’s current Low Carbon Lifestyle program, in which the company fights food waste and prioritizes plant-based proteins in its operations, trims transportation emissions and decreases deforestation in its supply chains.

Many of Bon Appétit’s forward-thinking clients across the country are interested in achieving ambitious climate goals, all the way to full climate neutrality. The food service company will also be releasing a flexible and customized array of options to help them meet these goals.

Armed with the World Resources Institute information provided by the Food Standards Dashboard, Bon Appétit can provide clients with options for operational and menu changes that dramatically reduce carbon impacts, and help identify high-quality carbon offsets such as Regen1, a regenerative agriculture platform that sinks carbon by rewarding farmers for land-stewardship choices.