The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) has launched its first sustainability accreditation for food destinations, developed with retail landlord Hammerson.
The first initiative of its kind, SRA says the new rating will be rolled out to a variety of destinations, including shopping centers, airports, stadiums and stations.
Hammerson’s WestQuay shopping center in Southampton, UK was the first location to achieve the new Sustainable Restaurant Association Food Destination rating, which now allows its 17 million annual shoppers to select from a range of restaurants that source ingredients more responsibly and manage food, water, energy and waste more efficiently.
WestQuay has achieved Three Star Sustainability Champion Status, the highest possible rating, and was commended for its collaborative recycling initiatives with the restaurants, as well as its ambitious targets to recycle food waste.
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Hammerson encouraged all the restaurants and cafes at WestQuay to participate. Two brands, Tortilla and Costa, already have been rated at WestQuay, with other catering brands taking up membership of the scheme and more lined up to complete the rating later this year.
“This is a great initiative that will have tangible benefits for us as a landlord and for our restaurateurs,” said Peter Cooper, Hammerson Retail Portfolio Director. “Not only does it provide us and our restaurants with constant areas of improvement, it also gives our consumers a meaningful benchmark when it comes to dining, and a better understanding of the quality of the product. We believe this initiative will help drive sales over the longer term as the provenance and behavior of brands is becoming increasingly more important for consumers.”
Recent research from SRA shows some 70 percent of consumers would choose a sustainable restaurant given the option with more than half (52%) are prepared to pay more for a meal in a location that invests in sustainability.