LEAF certifies its first eco-friendly restaurant in Toronto

9.jpgTorontoLeaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice (LEAF), a third-party certification pr ogram for restaurants and foodservice facilities that meet and adhere to strict environmental criteria, recently announced the certification of its first green restaurant in Toronto.

Cowbell, a progressive restaurant located in the city’s trendy Queen West strip, was recognized for its ongoing commitment to reducing the environmental impact of its operations.

“We are honoured to be the first restaurant in Toronto to receive LEAF-certification, as it is a testament to our dedication to sustainability, as referenced through our locally sourced food choices and day-to-day business operations,” said Cowbell owner Mark Cutrara.

The restaurant underwent a comprehensive evaluation to attain a LEAF Level-2 certification. The criteria rates environmental performance in areas such as energy, waste and water usage; food purchasing and preparation; and building supplies and furnishings.

LEAF reviews hundreds of items pertaining to a restaurant’s operations to determine if the establishment meets the criteria to attain a level one, two or three certification, with level three being the highest certification available.

Cowbell supports a local, sustainable food system and sources the
majority of its food within 200 kilometres of its Parkdale
neighbourhood. The décor features secondhand items and salvaged building
materials for tabletops and cabinets, as well as old church pews for

“Now more than ever people are basing their purchasing decisions on products and places that support the local community and the environment, and choosing where to dine becomes an important consideration,” says LEAF’s president Janine Bolton.

LEAF’s certification system is based on the following ten areas of sustainability:

1. Food purchasing and menu items
2. Supplies
3. Energy use
4. Water use
5. Building and location
6. Furnishings and decorative items
7. Chemicals
8. Waste and recycling
9. Employees
10. Policy and Innovation

Consumers can recognize LEAF-certified restaurants by the blue or green LEAF decal indicating the level of certification, along with other promotional materials on and offline.

Friday lunch on Queen Street West, Toronto, Ca...
Image via Wikipedia
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