Green Business

Green Seal Standards

Our sustainability standards for products, services, and companies are based on life-cycle research, and are developed in an open, transparent, and stakeholder-involved process. Green Seal standards provide criteria and guidelines for manufacturers, service providers, and companies to work toward sustainability and Green Seal certification. Green Seal has 33 issued standards that cover 400 product and service categories.


Restaurants & Food Services

GS-55 Restaurants and Food Services

GS-55 provides the food industry with a leadership-level benchmark for protection of environmental and human health.

The requirements address the significant impacts of food services:

  • sustainably-sourced food (options are local and environmentally preferable)
  • waste minimization
  • use of environmentally-preferable products
  • and conservation of energy and water.

Our article on the life cycle analysis of restaurants and food services was published in The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment.

The scope of this standard includes full-service, limited-service, catering, takeout, food service operations supporting the main activities of larger establishments (e.g., schools and hospitals). It does not cover bars, vending machines, grocery stores, or convenience stores.

GS-55 is based on the successful Pilot Standard for Sustainable Chicago Restaurants and Food Services, developed with University of Chicago’s Green Restaurant Research Team and the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition.