It’s no secret that climate change is one of the greatest challenges that we face today and as awareness about this important issue grows, it’s no wonder more and more of us are looking to reduce our carbon footprint. For those of you who are in the midst of planning a special event, you may be wondering how you can keep your carbon footprint small despite the fact that large events often result in a lot of waste – especially in the food service department!
Luckily, the great caterers in the GTA are very aware of this issue and work hard to create significant sustainability efforts that ensure their carbon footprint is as small as possible. Scroll down for more info on how some of the top caterers in the city are doing their part to help the environment.
We recognize and take responsibility for the impact our business practices have on the environment and are committed to reducing our carbon footprint through the implementation of 'Green Initiatives' focused in three major areas: the office, the kitchen, and on-site. In each, we aim to conserve water, reduce waste, preserve energy and minimize local emissions. Our efforts include (but are not limited to): ecological energy saving light bulbs with motion activated switches throughout our facility, use of reusable wares on events (or biodegradable eco-disposables), safe removal and conversion of used vegetable/cooking oil into bio-fuels/bio-diesel, use of carpools and public transit (to work/events), use of locally sourced fresh and seasonal ingredients (from sustainable farms/suppliers), and full production of menu items in-house from raw ingredients (with full onsite butchery of whole animals).
Elana KochmanOwner and Director
Toben Food by Design
Crispy Koi Rice Seared Tuna
McEwan Catering is always looking to the future, which for catering and food service means environmental and economic sustainability. Our guiding food service principal is seasonal produce which we believe is at the core of reducing our carbon footprint. We ensure that our activities not only comply with environmental regulations, but exceed them wherever possible in every aspect of our operations. We also consider the entire production chain. As a specific example, we have partnered with Ocean Wise to ensure our seafood is sustainable. We've also partnered with Prince Edward Island Beef, where farmers have been raising cattle using a traditional, holistic approach. With these strategic, local partnerships, we have total trace-ability and can ensure our sources use practices that conform to high environmental, social, and animal welfare standards.
Sustainability also means respect for those working in the kitchen, proper waste disposal and respect for each individual who enjoys our services. Our staff are highly trained and we minimize energy and water consumption through efficient administration, the highest tech equipment selection, usage and disposal, food storage, preparation and cooking. Our clients notice the difference. Our strengths are fine dining, curated beverage programming, exceptional catering and floral expertise that adhere to the above practices. We are driven by the freshest ingredients and our events team wows beyond the fork.
At Kiss the Cook Catering, we’ve long been focused on finding innovative strategies to reduce our carbon footprint, while also giving directly back to the community in a meaningful way. Many clients use our daily catering service, and due to fluctuations in office attendance, there can be days with significant leftovers. To minimize waste, we pick up unused food by a scheduled time and deliver it to Homes First Society, a local organization that helps homeless and at-risk individuals find permanent housing. If we can’t re-route food after an order cancellation or due to a food overage, we contact Liftovers. Their organization has volunteers that will pick up food from our commissary or an event site and deliver to local homeless shelters. It’s our creative approach to reducing waste, lessening our environmental impact and helping feed those who need it most.
Kiss the Cook Catering
Italian Mixed Greens in eco-friendly packaging
We make ethical choices to reduce our carbon footprint and promote sustainability in order to ensure the well-being of future generations. Through waste-reduction efforts, sourcing local quality ingredients, and using environmentally friendly products, we take meaningful steps to actively reduce our impact on the environment. Some of the ways that we help reduce our carbon footprint:
Purchase materials in bulk to reduce packaging as well as carbon emissions
Favour local suppliers who use sustainable practices
Utilize a fleet management system to track our deliveries and develop routes that minimize mileage, while optimizing the capacity of our vehicles
Use biodegradable cleaning products and energy efficient lighting
Use recycling blue bins for disposal of appropriate materials, and recycle all fryer oil
Continuously train our staff in ways to prevent food waste, including proper food rotation, food preparation techniques, and ongoing education regarding waste management best practice
Use edible vessels for serving dishes when possible - one example: Taro Root Tacos served directly on an edible taco shell
Record and document food waste to track progress and minimize wastage
Transition paperwork to iPad and cloud-based technology to limit the use of paper within the office
Purchase Energy Star computers, printers, and appliances whenever possible
We’re also very proud to have transitioned all of our cater ware to only use materials that are completely biodegradable or compostable! Our menus have the same great taste, only now they’re presented in environmentally friendly, sustainable cater ware. We believe that as a company, we have a corporate responsibility to minimize our carbon footprint, and we’re always working to improve our green initiatives and reduce our impact on the environment.
David SilberVice President
Taco in a disposable bamboo boat
Extensive efforts are made on a daily basis to ensure The Food Dudes’ internal Green Standards Policy is maintained across all businesses. Company deliveries and pick-ups are scheduled for maximum efficiency, resulting in minimal time spent on the road. Recyclables and organic waste items are vigilantly separated at all facilities, venues and events, while clients are encouraged to take advantage of our reusable platters. All disposable cutlery, dinnerware and service accouterments are 100% biodegradable, and the conservation system is frequently reviewed and updated to keep pace with eco-conscious objectives. We have officially become a plastic straw-free company and throughout the facility.
We always challenge ourselves to source seasonal and local produce when possible. Given the state of our sea climate, it is intrinsic to our philosophy to source sustainable seafood. We do not condone or support endangered fishes such as Tilapias, Chilean Sea Bass, Blue Fin Tuna, at any of our facilities.
Adrian NimanFounder and Executive Chef
A few things that we are doing at 10tation to help reduce our impact on the environment are separating waste by: cardboard, compost, metals/glass, oils and waste. We have eliminated plastics in our operations and have installed efficient lighting and ventilation systems. We use cleaning products that are biodegradable, ammonia and phosphate free and have purchased carbon offsets to neutralize emissions produced by our fleet.
Sourcing locally grown and ethically produced foods is important to us. Less miles from farm to table means a smaller carbon footprint and support for local producers. Use of organic products means a decrease of chemical inputs in conventional farming and reduces pollutants in waterways and soils. Ethically produced foods result in fair trade, better living wages and less harmful effects of automation and packaging. With a goal of avoiding over production, it’s also important to have established donation channels. In addition to providing meals for those in need, you reduce post-consumer food waste and a major portion of the overall waste stream.
Don SagareseVice President
Daniel et Daniel Catering & Events
Daniel et Daniel has been a long-time advocate of environmental sustainability. From piloting Toronto’s Green Bin Program, to being an Ocean Wise Partner and supporting Second Harvest (Canada’s largest food rescue organization), we are constantly striving to incorporate green initiatives within our day-to-day practices.
Our most recent initiative is the New Roots Dinner Series. These intimate pop-up dinners host 100 guests at unique venues across Cabbagetown and Regent Park in a single evening. Proceeds of the New Roots Dinner Series go towards supporting Green Thumbs Growing Kids and helping expand their environmental programs within Toronto. These programs are designed around schools and community gardens, with a focus on teaching children about growing produce right in their own neighbourhood.
Daniel et Daniel Catering & Events
en Ville Event Design & Catering
Organic Ontario Pork Belly, Candied Ontario Spring Rhubarb, White and Green Asparagus Pearls made by adding Calcium Lactate to Asparagus Puree and dropping it in a bath of Sodium Alginate
We stand proud in reducing our impact upon the environment. We have led the way, for the past 25 years, by identifying major causes of environmental waste while making efforts to eliminate them. All of our food arrives on reusable platters, while any individualized meals are often packaged in biodegradable bowls as well as our disposable cutlery. We source only the most local producers of meat, vegetables and dairy leaving the responsibility of supporting the local economies to us. This trend allows us to reduce our impact of carbon emissions, while simultaneously rewarding everyone that we are providing resources to the local market.
René KramerExecutive Chef
en Ville Event Design and Catering
Small, local choices have large global impact and we have woven that mandate into the culture of our entire culinary team. Presidential Gourmet is dedicated to producing food based on a firm environmental philosophy using sustainable methods and products. Recently, we have won a 'Top 10 Food Partner Award 2018' for our continued support of Robin Hood Army! Our frequent visits to drop off left-over food for the less fortunate, creates less waste and shows our commitment to our community and neighbours. To learn more about our green practices, explore our Green Manifesto on our website!
Vegan Acorn Squash and Cashew Risotto Cakes with Tarragon ‘Crème Fraiche’
Photo Courtesy of Cody Turner Photography
Sustainability is a large part of how we both source ingredients and write our menus. We’ve been FeastON certified since 2017; a program that recognizes those in the food industry committed to serving Ontario products and maintaining local food identities in their community. We also have the district pleasure of featuring a very vegetable forward menu that focuses on seasonal ingredients and when applicable locally-sourced animal proteins. As a result, many of our crowd pleasers are vegan, which allow us to reduce our carbon footprint while respecting our client’s personal choices.
Marie HollowayCo-founder and Event Manager
Urban Acorn Catering
I believe that it’s our responsibility in this industry to be conscious of the environment and our impact on it. I realized long ago that there is a lot of talk about being more eco-friendly without enough action so it's been a personal and professional goal of mine to become greener. Over the last eight years, elle has committed to several ‘green’ practices both onsite and at events to limit landfill waste. In order to reduce the use of single use plastics we encourage using glassware over disposables, often providing dishware for our clients at no added cost! When the need arises for disposables, we ensure that everything is easily compostable and recyclable. We believe that every small change can make an impact!