SUSTAINABILITY & COMMUNITY

Why do we care about sustainability? Because let’s face it, it’s the right thing to do — not just for us, but also for our clients and humanity as a whole.

Our industry is one of excess and waste, and we feel a great responsibility to impact change and do our part to forge a greener future. Since the environment directly impacts the quality of the ingredients we have available to us, it’s quite evident that the more we take care of the earth, the more it will take care of us.

Our dedication to environmental practices was recognized and voted on by our peers when we received the NICE Award for Best Responsible Event (Lollapalooza) in 2013 and 2014. We are a founding member of the Illinois Food Scrap Coalition and members of the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition.

WE ARE PROUD TO BE THE ONLY CATERER IN NORTH AMERICA THAT IS BOTH GREEN RESTAURANT CERTIFIED AND GREEN SEAL CERTIFIED

"Catering by Micheals meets Green Seal™ Standard GS-55 based on purchase of sustainably-sourced food, waste minimization, use of verified environmentally-preferable products, and conservation of energy and water. GreenSeal.org

WASTE MINIMIZATION

We believe strongly in sustainable practices, both on and off premise. In the office, we participate in composting and Single Stream Recycling programs, and practice double-sided printing whenever possible. In addition, we offer our clients the choice of returnable packaging such as baskets, Pyrex and Cambros, along with a wide selection of eco-friendly, biodegradable products including tree-free napkins, wooden stirrers, paper cups, compostable paper plates, and cutlery made of pre-consumer recycled materials. All of our used cooking grease is recycled into bio fuel and we only use eco-friendly cleaning supplies. We are also proud to be a Styrofoam free environment.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Fleetmatics, our fleet management system, tracks all of our delivery vans and trucks, enforces anti-idling policies and promotes energy efficient travel routes. Our office is equipped with digital thermostats and motion censored lighting that are programmed to maximize energy efficiency. We also only purchase Energy Star labeled appliances and products, including all of our refrigerators, computers, and printers.

WATER EFFICIENCY

Our office is located in a business park with minimal landscaping and does not require a sprinkler system or lawn service. Office employees drink from water coolers using reusable and refillable plastic water bottles and cups. We also use low flow aerators on all faucets and spray valves, and have implemented low flow toilets.

EMPLOYEE COMMUTING

Our Morton Grove office is located across the street from a Metra station and employees are encouraged to take the train or bike to work. Our kitchen and front–of- the-house staff frequently carpool to and from events. Several employees participate in a walking program using electronic monitors that measure the number of steps taken in a day. This program promotes both healthy and green living for walking as opposed to driving.

EDUCATION

Our in-house sustainability team develops plans and implements our green systems, including educating and training managers and employees of all levels on the importance of being sustainable and how to employ our green initiatives both in-house and at events. Because we work intimately with a number of green-conscious clients like Columbia College, a number of our staff are already well-versed in green policies and procedures, including working knowledge of what is recyclable and compostable at an event, and have taken it upon themselves to proactively educate and direct guests in the same manner.

PURCHASING

In addition to our sustainability practices, we also strive to make sustainable purchases whenever possible. Nearly 20% of the food we purchase each month is either sustainable or locally sourced, and 36% is vegan. At least 80% of our seafood purchases are sustainable and all of our poultry is free-range.

LOCAL COMMUNITY

We have been extremely fortunate and now dedicate a significant amount of time and resources to those who are less fortunate. We give back in a variety of ways, including encouraging employees to volunteer, supporting food banks with donations of excess non-perishable food, contributions to silent auctions, discounts on fundraising events hosted by non-profit groups, and financial donations to charities.

HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE GROUPS THAT WE SUPPORT