Green Generation Restaurants in Turkey

Purchase PDF
Pablo Pecora
Turkey’s new Green Generation Restaurant initiative will allow the country’s many restaurants to become certified as “green.”

Turkey, a rapidly growing economy with a booming tourist industry, now has approximately 77,000 restaurants (230 of those are McDonalds), and wastes almost 325,000 tons of food every year. However, it is not alone—many countries with emerging economies are growing so fast that they are not creating the infrastructure to do so responsibly.

With that in mind, Uğur Bayar, Chairman of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Turkey, has recently announced the launch of the Green Generation Restaurants in Turkey.

This project, developed and supported by the WWF in Turkey, Boğaziçi University, the Turkish Restaurant Association, Beşiktas Municipality, and Unilever Food solutions, aims to reduce food waste. It does so by certifying a restaurant through a similar criterion to the Green Restaurant Association. This includes six different categories a restaurant must adhere to: water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable food, energy, disposables, and chemical and pollution reduction.

Additional ideas require the collaboration of both restaurants and customers to implement such change. Transforming waste into fertilizers and changing plates and utensils only as needed are only a few of the many ways a restaurant and its customers can go green in Turkey. The project will begin in Turkey’s most chic and privileged areas, all in the hopes of improving the future of Turkey’s environment.

Getting restaurants to reduce waste is a worldwide movement, and one of the objectives of the Milan Protocol, a global agreement expected to be ratified at the upcoming Milan Expo in 2015.

The Expo aims to address the issues of food sustainability through three objectives: the promotion of healthy lifestyles and fighting obesity, the promotion of sustainable agriculture, and the reduction of food waste by 50 percent by the year 2020.

Turkey did not join the Protocol until very recently, and, therefore does not have much to offer nor a plan of action to present at the Expo. However, Turkey’s Green Generation Restaurants project is one way of prompting food sustainability, and specifically the reduction of food waste.