Sustainability is more than just a corporate initiative for SAVOR…Chicago. It is a passion that touches every aspect of our operations and drives the way we do business. Not only do we practice sustainable operations, we are also committed to sharing our knowledge and experience with others in our industry and locally.
From creating the Midwest’s largest rooftop garden to sourcing certified sustainable coffee, increasing our recycling diversion rate and reducing waste, here are a few highlights of our commitment:
- We lead the convention industry in sustainability certifications and recognition including Green Seal* certification, International APEX certification, Green Meetings Industry Council certification, recognition from the EPA and an Illinois Governor’s Award for sustainability.
- Waste diversion has increased to 63% last year up from 0% before SAVOR…Chicago began its work at McCormick Place. This significant improvement is thanks to many different waste reduction initiatives including creation of the Green Angels visitor education and recycling program, changes in packaging and bulk condiments, recycling all food grease to bio-diesel, adopting a cork re-harvesting program and many other efforts.
- The rooftop garden atop the West Building was created to promote sustainable local agriculture and train city residents for careers in urban agriculture. The 2.5 acre garden is the Midwest’s largest rooftop top garden producing seasonal harvests that yield 8,000 lbs. of farm-fresh plenty including beets, kale, carrots, lettuce, peppers, beans and herbs used in SAVOR…Chicago kitchens. The garden provides fresh, seasonal produce for McCormick Place catering and restaurant operations, including “Windy City Harvest” menu items served in the 23rd Street Cafe & Market.
- 33% of all food purchased at McCormick Place is local, organic or environmentally preferred including 80% of all seafood purchased is sustainable, all coffee served on McCormick Place campus is UTZ certified and we have put the national program Health Fare for Kids into concessions offerings.
- SAVOR… donated over 41,000 pounds of food to local charities including the Pacific Garden Mission. More than 37 tons of food has been donated to local charities since it began its work at McCormick Place. In addition, the SAVOR…Chicago team spends hundreds of hours of their time working with local organizations including the ProStart culinary education program for high school students, Ronald McDonald House, Eco Educators and others.
Our commitment to sustainability is constant and new initiatives underway will continue to lessen our environmental impact.
*GS-55 Restaurants and Food Services SAVOR…Chicago 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