Go Green With Gram
 
Sustainable Restaurant Champion
mainAs a manufacturer to the foodservice industry, and the leading supplier of environmentally friendly refrigeration equipment, Gram became aware through its relationship with its customers and independent research from The Green Paper, that the industry and its operators are conscious of the part it can play in reducing negative impact on the environment. Consequently, in May 2011 Gram launched a competition to find the most environmentally conscious restaurant in the UK. Café Spice Namaste was crowned Green Champion of the Year, and The Green Dragon in Lavington, Wiltshire, and Ruddyglow Park Country House in Sutherland, Scotland were awarded joint runners up.

To make the important decision, Gram appointed an independent judging panel, formed of representatives from Eat Out Magazine, Foodservice Footprint and the Sustainable Restaurant Association, who were all impressed with the high standard of entries. The panel chose Café Spice Namaste as overall winner because of the focus proprietor Cyrus Todiwala has placed, on putting sustainability at the top of his agenda for the restaurant.

Sheila Eggleston, food and drink editor at Eat Out magazine, commented: “Cyrus has gone to amazingly great lengths to scrutinise everything from the recycling and composting aspects to evaluating equipment and replacing it with energy efficient and environmentally friendly models, thus far exceeding the average restaurateurs efforts. He is very vocal about his aims and objectives and his transformation into an eco warrior is remarkable”.

Cyrus walked away from the competition with £5,000 worth of Gram ETL listed equipment. Due to the high level of entries, the judges couldn’t decide on just one runner up, so both the Green Dragon and Ruddyglow Park Country House received a highly sought after copy of Rene Redzepi's book 'Noma, Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine', the restaurant crowned winner of the 2011 World’s Best Restaurant award.

Glenn Roberts, managing director of Gram UK adds: “We would like to thank everyone that took the time to enter the competition, as well as our three judges, Sheila Eggleston, food and drink editor at Eat Out Magazine, Mark Linehan, managing director of The Sustainable Restaurant Association and Nick Fenwicke-Clennell, CEO of Foodservice Footprint. The competition goes hand in hand with the publication of our Restaurant and Pub edition of the Gram Green Paper which takes all of the insight, findings and results from the landmark 2010 issue of our Green Paper, and draws conclusions and results that are specifically relevant to the restaurant and pub sectors.” To take a look at the paper, download it here.

 
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298_9823_JFRI am absolutely thrilled to have won this great prize and genuinely think initiatives like this competition and the Gram Green Papers are fantastic resources and motivation for the industry. I think this is an excellent initiative by Gram and one that helps raise greater awareness, and hopefully instigates more operators to pursue greener initiatives. If I could rub a lamp and have a genie pop out, you can be rest assured my wish would be for the most green restaurant the world has ever known. The challenge we face is finding ways to become more sustainable, and doing so in such a way that maintains or facilitates our ability to run a commercially viable operation. That is our biggest challenge.
Cyrus Todiwala owner of Café Spice Namaste

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Green DragonI am looking forward to reading Rene Redzepi’s book immensely and to trying out the recipes and gleaning the inspiration to create something similar, but, to maintain my commitment to sustainability, I intend to give them a distinct highlands flair. I strongly believe we should all be using locally grown, seasonally available foods whenever possible.
Patricia Filmer-Sankey, owner of Ruddyglow Park Country House

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Green DragonIt’s great to get a reward for doing something I really believe in and it can sometimes be an effort to do things in a sustainable way, persuading staff and family to share your views and get them to join in, as well as making the customers aware of what we are trying to achieve. It is always worth it, as the pay back for using local suppliers mean they support us too and that helps increase all of our businesses. Customers are more aware of these issues now and love the fact that they sometimes see us running next door to the butcher if we have had a busy lunch! Our energy consumption is reduced and that saves money too. We are constantly aiming to improve our sustainability and having companies like Gram helping where they can, gives us a boost.
Nicky Wragg, owner of the Green Dragon

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SRAI was impressed by the quality of the applications and by the commitment so many restaurants are making to recycling, energy efficiency, reducing water consumption and sourcing local and seasonal produce. The fact that they do this and communicate it so well to their staff, suppliers and customers is to be commended. The Sustainable Restaurant Association aims to make UK restaurants global leaders in sustainability by supporting them to source responsibly, reduce their impact on the environment and meet their social responsibilities. We also run an independent accreditation scheme, awarding restaurants a star rating for their sustainability credentials.
Mark Linehan, Managing Director of the Sustainable Restaurant Association

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