The goal of the program is to provide transparent ways to measure a restaurant's environmental accomplishments
The Green Restaurant Assn. (GRA) has developed a program through which restaurants can earn points for energy efficiency, waste, chemical and pollution reduction, water efficiency, as well as other metrics.
Referred to as the GRA Standards, the goal of the program, according to the association, "is to provide transparent ways to measure a restaurant's environmental accomplishments [and provide] a pathway for steps each restaurant can take towards increased environmental sustainability."
Similar to LEED certification, for each green or sustainable step taken a restaurant is awarded points, with 205 points required for GRA certification.
"The program is also similar to LEED in that restaurant owners use it as a guide to become more environmentally responsible, even if they are not seeking certification," said Klaus Reichardt, CEO and founder of Waterless Co. Inc. "This is especially true when it comes to water efficiency."
For instance, some of the top ways restaurants can earn GRA points when it comes to water efficiency are the following:
- Installing a pre-rinse sprayer for rinsing dishes before washing - up to 7.5 points;
- Greywater reuse where possible - 7.25 points;
- Installing an Energy Star dishwasher - 4.25 points;
- Installing composting toilets - 4.25 points;
- Installing waterless urinals - 4.25 points; and
- Installing high efficiency urinals using 0.5 gal per flush - 1.5 points.