Georgia State University Receives 3 Star Certified Green Restaurant® Certification
ATLANTA–Two of Georgia State University’s dining commons have been named as 3 Star Certified Green Restaurants® by the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), an international nonprofit organization helping restaurants become more environmentally sustainable.
Patton and Piedmont North dining halls were named last year as 2 Star Certified Green Restaurants®. Both have now landed the second highest honor in the four-star system.
Only eight other restaurants in Georgia have earned the certification. Georgia State now has the most GRA-certified dining commons out of all universities in the state.
Piedmont North Dining Hall applied 56 environmental steps from the GRA’s robust rating system and received a score of 198.42, while Patton Dining Hall was awarded 183.42 GreenPoints™ for implementing 51 environmental steps. Both dining commons received their highest marks in the waste reduction category along with recycling and composting efforts that keep up to 90 percent of PantherDining’s waste out of landfills annually.
Georgia State’s dining commons were also recognized by the GRA for providing reusable dishes, glasses and utensils, serving vegetarian and vegan dishes, contributing weekly food donations to the Atlanta community, composting and recycling practices and implementation of high-efficiency Energy Star appliances.
Points are awarded based on seven GRA environmental categories: water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, durable goods and building materials, sustainable food, energy, chemical and pollution reduction as well as disposables.
GRA certification consists of more than 500 environmental standards, including 40 from external science, environmental and governmental organizations. Each standard earns a restaurant a certain number of GreenPoints™ toward becoming a Certified Green Restaurant®. To achieve the baseline of “1 Star” certification, a restaurant must earn 10 points in three out of seven sustainability categories, with a total of at least 80 points overall. A restaurant must earn 10 points in each of the seven sustainability categories and earn 100 points to be certified “2 Star,” 175 points to be “3 Star” and 300 points to receive the highest status of “4 Star.”
“Last year before we received a 2 Star Certification for both dining halls I was already thinking about what we’d need to do to ensure a 3 Star Certification,” said Director of PantherDining and Sustainability Initiatives Lenore Musick. “We’re constantly finding new ways to increase our green initiatives in all facets of dining, whether it’s post-consumer recyclable napkins or the partnership with Panther Food Recovery Network. We strive for innovative solutions in our dining commons, retail locations and catering services.”