The Low Carbon Diet is Bon Appétit Management Company’s program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food service operations, and to educate our staff and guests about how food contributes to climate change.
Launched in 2007, the program's goal was to reduce Bon Appétit Management Company's CO2e emissions in the highest impact areas by 25%. We have successfully done so, and continue to follow the Low Carbon Diet principles. Here are some highlights of our continuing commitment:
To reduce carbon dioxide emissions, we are…
- Purchasing 100% of our meats and vegetables from North America
- Eliminating air-freighted seafood
- Decreasing purchases of tropical fruits
- Conducting equipment and operational audits of all accounts
- Cutting the use of packaging
To reduce methane gas emissions, we are…
- Reducing the amount of beef and cheese we menu (as of 2012 we have reduced beef purchases by 33% and cheese use by 10%)
- Minimizing food waste (we have reduced our food waste by 30%)
To reduce nitrous oxide emissions, we are…
- Taking an active interest in improving the production methods of our agricultural suppliers
- Conducting an analysis of our supply chain to better understand the life cycle of the food we buy and the resulting impacts
Read about our Low Carbon Diet commitments and accomplishments to date.
Why did we implement the Low Carbon Diet?
- When it comes to climate change and global warming, most people only think about cars and light bulbs. However, many different parts of the food system also contribute greenhouse gases to the environment.
- The entire food system contributes 1/3 of the world’s greenhouse gases (United Nations). Greenhouse gases are powerful gases that we can’t see or smell trap hot air close to the earth’s surface and raise land and sea temperatures around the planet. These include carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.
- The typical American diet, with its emphasis on red meat may "contribute more to global warming than driving a typical sedan" (University of Chicago study, 2006).
In the food system, greenhouse gases come from:
- Fossil fuels used to run our cars, trucks, airplanes, refrigerators, stoves and ovens.
- Over-use of fertilizer and excessive irrigation on farms.
- Ruminant animals (cows, sheep and goats). They produce methane gas during digestion.