ontario

Greening an Icon - The CN Tower gets LEAF Certified

Executive Chef John Morris

Executive Chef John Morris

As a world-class attraction, The CN Tower knows that it needs to be a leader in sustainability and show that venues of all sizes can implement change, to make change. The CN Tower sees over 1.9 million guests and 360 serves more than 350,000 diners in a year. Numbers like that make a dramatic impact. 

We all know that every little bit counts when it comes to making sustainable choices to help reduce our footprint on the environment, which is why the CN Tower has made changes to how they operate, in order to help reduce their impact. In spring of 2019, the CN Tower also achieved LEAF Certification for the work that they’ve done. The 400-seat 360 Restaurant has received a Level 2 LEAF Certification, and Le Café and VUE Bistros are Certified LEAF Cafés. 

What makes The CN Tower LEAF certified?

Small yet important changes like moving to paper straws and to products made with compostable materials wherever possible. Their onsite Culinary Gardens grow a range of herbs, fruits and vegetables that are used in 360 Restaurant, as well as serving as an opportunity for education.

The CN Tower has reviewed all suppliers, and where possible made the change to a local supplier or had existing suppliers source local ingredients. From the Tower, you can see many of their suppliers or the regions where they are located. By sourcing more local ingredients, 360 is making a major economic impact locally.

Several years ago, the CN Tower made the decision to feature Ontario craft beers only. 360 also instituted a wine mandate to feature more local, artisanal, limited supply, and hard to find Ontario wines.  But they don’t stop at beer and wine - they have also developed a Canadian focused cocktail list with all cocktails being driven by a Canadian based spirit.

“The opportunities in our field to make positive changes are plentiful, and can have a global impact.  Our team is seen as leaders in this area and we want to inspire others to take more action.  Achieving LEAF certification for the CN Tower and 360 Restaurant was key for us as it shows our commitment to being environmentally responsible with our foodservice.”

Executive Chef John Morris, 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower

In 2018 the CN Tower installed an ORCA, an innovative food waste solution system that mimics the natural digestion process. ORCA uses mostly air, along with water and microbiology to turn the food waste from the base kitchen for 360 Restaurant, into an environmentally safe liquid that goes down the drain and is disposed of using the existing sanitary sewer infrastructure.  This reduces the amount of food waste that needs to be picked up and transported.

Due to this technology our environmental footprint has been reduced in the following ways:

  • 11.24 tons of food waste was diverted

  • 6,350 litres of diesel fuel were not used

  • Reduced methane gas by 7.31kg

  • Reduced carbon dioxide by 9.89 tons

360 Restaurant has achieved FeastOn Certification and also recently received the Greenest Choice TO award for a FeastON Certified Restaurant. They are also Ocean Wise certified for sustainable seafood.

“We will continue to find ways to lessen our environmental impact, but in the mean time we encourage you to come and experience what we have done so far.”

Meet: Plastic Free Blue Bayfield

In 1998, a group of citizens responded to concerns about the quality of the water in their river and lake, resulting in the formation of FRIENDS OF THE BAYFIELD RIVER (FoBR). Since its inception, FoBR has planted hundreds of trees along the length of the Bayfield River, organized annual beach cleanups, restored riverbanks, lobbied all levels of government and worked with sister organizations along the coastline to raise awareness of the threats to their waters. FoBR was instrumental in having ultra violet water treatment added to the Clinton sewage system.

In 2005, FoBR became alarmed with plastic debris found during cleanup, much of it single-use water bottles. At the time, the Council of Canadians introduced the Blue Community Project. This project asked municipalities to acknowledge water as a human right, end the distribution of single-use bottled water and denounce the privatization of this resource. FoBR sought and received the support of 40 village organizations. As a result of this support, Bayfield is one of many worldwide communities, including Paris France, Zurich, Switzerland and many Ontario towns that are BLUE COMMUNiTIES. 2500 refillable bottles have been distributed and with the help of sponsors, five refill stations can be found in the village. Over 30,000 refills have been undertaken at these sites.

Recent Studies of the Great Lakes indicate that there are more than twice the pieces of plastics per square km in the Greats than in the oceans (225,000), – (440,000). This figure hastened the then Blue Community to join groups around the world intent on changing attitudes towards single use plastics. In the UK and throughout Europe, towns and villages have joined the campaign organized by the Surfers Against Sewage that is based in St Agnes, Cornwall. The Cornish coast and indeed the coastlines throughout the UK and Europe, were awash in plastics. These communities thus became part of the PLASTIC FREE COMMUNITIES project that now numbers 500.

Over 80% of Bayfield eateries (and growing number of retailers) now have committed to eliminate all single use plastics and polystyrene. This is just the beginning.

Thank you to the residents of Blue Bayfield for your leadership on plastic advocacy and awareness!

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LEAF releases annual Guide to Canada's Greenest Restaurants

LEAF has released our annual Guide to Canada’s Greenest Restaurants for 2018. For the past number of years, sustainable dining and various aspects of it , including local food, sustainable seafood, meatless menus, and environmental practices, have been listed as some of the top trends in restaurants and food service. Increasingly, restaurants are realizing that operating as a more sustainable business is also good for their bottom line.

Restaurants waste an average of 50 tons of food each year, and use 2.5 to 5 times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings. 96 per cent of LEAF restaurants compost their food waste versus just 9 per cent of conventional restaurants. 85 per cent of LEAF restaurants use energy efficient or ENERGY STAR appliances versus just 52 per cent of conventional restaurants. LEAF restaurants consistently outperform conventional restaurants.

Consumers are increasingly more aware of the impact of their purchasing decisions, and gravitate towards more environmentally sound purchasing choices when presented with options. Dining at a LEAF certified restaurant takes the guesswork out of the equation for consumers.  The restaurants on this list have all been audited by an independent third party, and demonstrate a commitment to operating in an environmentally sustainable manner. Canadian diners can find an updated list of LEAF certified restaurants in their area, year round, on the LEAF website.

We are continually raising the bar for what it means to be LEAF certified. In the coming weeks, LEAF’s version 4.0 criteria will be released, which places a greater emphasis on single use disposable plastics and food waste.

Support a more sustainable foodservice industry - visit a LEAF certified restaurant in your area today!

Don’t see one on the list in your area? Send them this link and suggest they get certified!

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