Sustainable Restaurant Association launches Global Rating System

SRAMember-logo-20131-192x300Diners around the world can now choose restaurants that match their values.

The first international restaurant rating system which enables diners to choose restaurants that match their sustainability priorities wherever they are in the world, and means chefs can compare their credentials internationally, was launched on April 29th by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA).

Some of the best restaurants in the world have already completed the SRA rating and a number of others have committed to doing so. Narisawa, the two Michelin-starred restaurant in Tokyo, won the Sustainable Restaurant Award, sponsored by Zacapa, at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants tonight (29 April), by achieving the highest score among the 50 Best Restaurants to complete the SRA’s new Global Rating survey. Noma, in Copenhagen and 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA, in Hong Kong, completed the top three in this award.

The SRA’s Global Sustainability Rating means diners in New York, Paris, Tokyo or Sydney for example, who care about where their food comes from, how restaurants manage their energy, waste and water and how they treat their staff, can check their credentials.

Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa said: “We are committed to operating sustainably every day at Narisawa and we are proud to communicate this globally. We operate sustainably because it is the right thing to do as eating and gastronomy go hand-in-hand with sustainability and it comes naturally to me as a person as well as a chef to take care of nature.”

Internationally known restaurants that will be among the first to undertake the Global Rating include; Soho House group with sites in Miami, West Hollywood, Toronto and Berlin, as well as Virgin Limited Edition, boasting sites in Australia, Kenya and South Africa. D&D London, which already has a Two Star group rating for its London restaurants, will be undertaking the rating for its international restaurants including Botanica in Tokyo, and sites in Paris, New York and Istanbul.

Virgin Limited Edition’s Managing Director, Jon Brown, commented: “We are very happy to be working more closely with such a prestigious organisation as the Sustainable Restaurant Association. The global rating system will be a fantastic way of ensuring the highest restaurant standards around the world and will no doubt help push the whole industry towards a more responsible way of operating.”

The SRA recently awarded Eurostar’s catering operation a One Star Rating and announced its new partnership with Virgin Atlantic Airways which will see the airline’s entire in-flight catering outfit rated.

Raymond Blanc OBE, President of the SRA and chef patron of the world-famous Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, which has a Three Star SRA rating, said: “This is wonderful news for anyone, like me, who cares about where their food comes from and how it is produced. It is encouraging to know that when I am eating out, anywhere in the world, I can check if the restaurant is doing the important things that will help lead to a more sustainable future for us all.

“This is the birth of an international common language of restaurant sustainability. The world’s best chefs have a duty to operate responsibly and I would urge more of my fellow chefs around the world to take the test.”

A number of NGOs have welcomed the SRA’s move, including Compassion in World Farming and Waste Action Resources Programme. Philip Lymbery, Chief Executive of CIWF, said: “CIWF works closely with the SRA and we recognise the tremendous impact it has had on sustainability across the hospitality sector, in particular helping to engineer a genuine increase in the welfare standards of meat served in restaurants. Animal welfare worldwide will improve significantly if the SRA can replicate its success with its global rating.”

The SRA, the UK’s premier sustainability focussed industry body, has been conducting restaurant ratings since 2010. More than 500 UK restaurants including Le Manoir and Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles have completed the rating, described as the Michelin Stars of Sustainability by The Sunday Times. It is the only fully independent and comprehensive assessment of restaurants’ environmental and social responsibility and covers three main areas: Sourcing, Environment and Society.

The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) is a not-for-profit membership organisation providing restaurants with expert sustainability advice through a team of specialist account managers. The SRA helps member restaurants source food more sustainably, manage resources more efficiently and work more closely with their community.  Members enjoy the economic benefits of greater sustainability and the SRA promotes their activities to consumers.

The SRA Rating System involves Restaurants completing a rigorous survey, providing answers and evidence to questions across 14 areas of sustainability. The SRA then assesses the results and rates the restaurants accordingly.

Three-Star Sustainability Champions – These restaurants have demonstrated exceptional all round sustainability, scoring consistently well across every category totalling at least 70%.

Two-Star Sustainability Champions – These restaurants have demonstrated excellent all round sustainability, scoring at least 60%.

One-Star Sustainability Champions – These restaurants have demonstrated good all round sustainability, scoring at least 50%.

Diners can check the ratings here

Restaurants that would like to take the sustainability rating can sign up here

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