FORGET MICHELIN stars, there’s a new global restaurant ratings system to help diners choose where to eat. Maybe not. But the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s (SRA) decision to roll its ratings system out globally will mean that chefs can compare their sustainability credentials internationally – a move which top chefs believe will drive sustainability up the agenda in this fiercely competitive environment.
The new “Global Sustainability Rating” covers a range of issues, including sourcing, energy management, waste and employment. Some of the best restaurants in the world have already completed the SRA rating and a number of others have committed to doing so.
Raymond Blanc, SRA president and chef patron of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, which has a Three Star SRA rating, said: “This is the birth of an international common language of restaurant sustainability. The world’s best chefs have a duty to operate responsibly and I would urge more of my fellow chefs around the world to take the test.”
Narisawa, the two Michelin-starred restaurant in Tokyo, won the Sustainable Restaurant Award, sponsored by Zacapa, at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants this week, achieving the highest score among the 50 Best Restaurants to complete the SRA’s new global rating scheme. Noma, in Copenhagen and 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA, in Hong Kong, completed the top three in this award.
“We operate sustainably because it is the right thing to do. Eating and gastronomy go hand-in-hand with sustainability and it comes naturally to me as a person as well as a chef to take care of nature,” said chef Yoshihiro Narisawa.
A number of NGOs have also welcomed the SRA’s move, including WRAP and Compassion in World Farming.
More than 500 UK restaurants including Le Manoir and Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles have completed the SRA’s rating, described as the Michelin Stars of Sustainability by the Sunday Times.