Rice serveries earn green restaurant certification


More than one-third of Texas’ Certified Green Restaurants are right here on campus.

Green Restaurant CertificationRice University’s six serveries have been named Certified Green Restaurants by the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), an international nonprofit organization that measures restaurants’ environmental accomplishments using science-based certification standards. Only nine other restaurants in the Lone Star State have earned the certification. Harvard is the only other university in the nation to have all of its undergraduate dining services certified.

The GRA evaluates restaurants and awards GreenPoints in seven sustainability categories: water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable durable goods and building materials, sustainable food, energy, reusables and environmentally preferable disposables, and chemical and pollution reduction.

GRA certification is based on more than 500 environmental standards, including 40 from external science, environmental and governmental organizations. Each standard earns a restaurant a certain number of GreenPoints toward becoming a Certified Green Restaurant. A restaurant must earn 10 points in three of the seven sustainability categories, with a total of at least 80 points overall, to achieve the baseline “Level 1” status. A restaurant must earn 10 points in each of the seven sustainability categories and earn a total of 100 points to be certified “2 Star,” 175 points to be “3 Star” and 300 points to receive the highest status of “4 Star.”

Baker College Kitchen earned 137.71 total points; North Servery earned 110.13 points; Seibel Servery earned 121.75 points; Sid Richardson College Kitchen earned 98.24 points; South Servery earned 106.83 points; and West Servery earned 121.18 points.

Rice’s serveries were recognized for such things as serving vegetarian and vegan main dishes, using Energy Star appliances, recycling, composting and using reusable dishes, glasses and utensils.

“This is a significant accomplishment, and it demonstrates Housing and Dining’s commitment to health and wellness for the students and for the environment,” said Richard Johnson ’92, director of Rice’s Administrative Center for Sustainability and Energy Management. “Further, now that they have a measured environmental baseline through this certification process, they can continue to build on this success and chart future environmental improvements. I’m proud of the entire dining operation for this achievement.”


About Jennifer Evans

Jennifer Evans is a senior editor in the Rice's Office of Public Affairs.