Special Report

2010 Applied Tech Award Winners

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Green Technology

The Criteria: Innovations that have quantitatively improved the sustainability of a store and contributed to the efficiency of a store or system.

LPB’s Utility Manager
Supplier: LPB Energy Management
At Work: Software that leverages monthly utility bill and meter data to measure and report on energy cost, consumption, and environmental factors.

The Utility Manager software platform generates more than 250 user-friendly reports to help operators understand their energy consumption and its impact on the environment, including carbon emissions, cost per employee, and facility benchmarking. With a tool to actively manage energy spending and use, operators can monitor and implement changes.

Tracy Voyles, utility accountant at Rita Restaurant Corp., operators of 39 Don Pablo’s restaurants, values the system’s at-your-fingertips filing and budgeting features, which can be used in one location or across a multiunit operation. The system also calculates cost avoidance and verifies bill accuracy.

Subway's Salad Bowls Subway’s Salad Bowls
Supplier: PWP Industries
At Work: A new salad bowl and lid using less raw material than its predecessor.

As Subway looked to improve the lid fit of its existing salad bowls, attention soon shifted to altering the bowl’s materials from OPS to PET, the most recycled plastic, and including 10 percent post-consumer resin in the bowl and lid (a number that has since risen to 25 percent).

Subway and PWP then reduced material usage, later packing the bowls and lids into one case that allowed Subway to remove excess shipper cases from the system—all without impacting the restaurant’s current salad formula. The changes add up, says Subway’s packaging technologist Michael Fox: 1.7 million pounds of raw material salvaged; 17 truckloads diverted; and 2,792 trees, 5,586 barrels of oil, and 272,663 gallons of gas saved.

SSDC’s Instant Solutions Cleaner and Degreaser
Supplier: SSDC, a division of EcoLab
At Work: A sustainable glass cleaner and degreaser that uses strips soaked with a concentrated cleaner.

Subway’s degreasers and glass cleaners were traditionally dispersed to stores in oversized plastic jugs primarily filled with water. With SSDC’s help, Subway outlets now receive a reusable spray bottle and strips soaked with the concentrated cleaning chemical.

The biodegradable strips hug the nozzle inside the bottle and mix with water to create a CARB-compliant, noncorrosive solution manufactured without the use of phosphates or ammonia. Since its 2009 implementation, Subway has eliminated more than 105 truckloads, reduced its CO2 output by 3,835 metric tons, and delighted its operators.

“The new solution is cleaner and easier to use and takes up far less space; it makes complete sense,” Subway franchisee Bob Levand says.

Xylexin’s Protective Tabletop Coatings
Xylexin's Protective Tabletop CoatingsSupplier: Mirage Products
At Work: A durable, protective coating for marble, stone, and wood tabletops made of environmentally friendly 92 percent solids and low VOCs.

After 18 months of testing to find the most durable protective coating to remove stains and refresh a table’s look, Xylexin proved a winner for Mirage Products. The USDA-compliant coating does not discolor, is chemical resistant, and is available in a variety of colors and finishes.

Used in Cheesecake Factory restaurants throughout the country, Xylexin helps operators salvage tables they might otherwise replace. The coating simplifies cleaning of tabletops, refreshes their looks, and can be applied overnight, as it only needs four hours to chemically bond and seal.

“No chemicals stain or penetrate Xylexin—they all come off,” Mirage Products’ president John Horne says.

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