The Hobart Center for Foodservice Sustainability (HCFS), a nonprofit, industry-wide forum supporting the foodservice industry’s drive for sustainable equipment and design, is currently accepting applications for its annual $5,000 sustainability grant.

The grant is going to be awarded to the individual or organization judged to have the best-executed foodservice or grocery sustainability project of the year. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. EST on Jan. 31, 2012, and the recipient is expected to be announced at the 2012 National Restaurant Association show in Chicago.

The winning project must showcase clear planning, precise implementation, and a strong return on investment.

Applicants can enter by submitting a case study of 10 or fewer pages explaining how their program addresses one of more of the following foodservice sustainability challenges:

  • How the operation reduced energy/water use
  • How the operation reduced creation of wastewater or solid waste
  • How the operation implemented Farm-to-Fork programs or other combined programs

Applications must include a financial analysis of the sustainability program, including the cost of implementation, continuing costs, and the return on investment, with a summary of the cumulative cost saving. Descriptions of specific foodservice equipment used to achieve sustainability goals, including Energy Star-qualified equipment, are also encouraged.

All submissions must be received by 5 p.m. EST on Jan. 31, 2012, for the HCFS Fellows to judge. The grant recipient who is awarded the $5,000 grant must use the proceeds to invest in additional sustainability efforts. The individual and/or company honored will be invited to join the HCFS Fellows and to assist with future initiatives.

Georgia Tech Dining Services (Sodexo) was the 2010 HCFS grant recipient in recognition of its comprehensive, cost-neutral approach to foodservice sustainability.

According to Nell Fry, sustainability coordinator for Georgia Tech (Sodexo), the HCFS grant provided the opportunity to create a front-line employee-training program that is being used as a benchmark by many peer institutions.

“Our momentum since accepting this award has been extraordinary,” Fry says. “We have the talented people at HCFS to thank for providing organizations like ours support and resources.”

To learn more about the grant and to download the official application, visit the Hobart Center for Foodservice Sustainability.

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