Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Clark

Jeff Clark

Manager, Sustainability & Nutrition, Member Engagement, National Restaurant Association

Jeff Clark manages the sustainability and nutrition restaurant education and engagement programs at the National Restaurant Association. He is a passionate advocate for helping the restaurant industry shift towards more environmentally friendly behaviors through minimizing energy and water use, sourcing food with the environment in mind, and minimizing food waste.

Mr. Clark has performed energy and water audits in restaurants and is actively working to reduce food waste both as part of the Association efforts and via the Food Waste Reduction Alliance. He is also relaunching and revitalizing the Association's Kids LiveWell voluntary initiative, where participating restaurants provide healthier-for-you kids meals with reduced calories, fat, and sugar.

Mr. Clark speaks regularly to the public and restaurateur audiences about environmental issues, helped create more than 80 online educational videos, and crafts sustainability reports like The State of Restaurant Sustainability, 2018 Edition and the Fats, Oils, Greases Toolkit.

When he is not working, Mr. Clark is experimenting with food waste recycling in his Bethesda, MD backyard via regular composting and vermicomposting. He uses this compost in a family garden with his wife and two young children. He is also an avid photographer, foodie, and traveler.

Like many individuals, Mr. Clark's first job was in the restaurant industry. He scooped ice cream for three years while in high school (favorite flavor: chocolate peanut butter). Mr. Clark worked at seven different restaurants as a server and bartender, while earning two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in physics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Master of Public Policy from Duke University.

Please visit http://www.restaurant.org for more information.

Mr. Clark can be contacted at +1 202-973-5389 or jclark@restaurant.org

Coming up in May 2020...

Eco-Friendly Practices: Creative Innovation

Being eco-friendly is no longer a fad. It is an urgent planetary need and hotels are actively doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint by implementing sustainable, green practices. In addition to the goodwill derived from doing the right thing, hotels are also realizing the benefits to their business. A large percentage of Millennials expect hotels to be eco-friendly and will only patronize those properties that are proudly conforming. Consequently, more hotels are realizing that sustainability is a key element in a successful branding strategy. In addition, going green can lead to a more profitable bottom line, as savings on electricity, water and cleaning materials can add up. Also, there are other advantages that come with being an eco-friendly business, such as government subsidies and tax and loan incentives. As a result, many hotels are finding innovative ways to integrate eco-friendly practices into their business. Geo-thermal energy systems, along with energy-from-waste systems, are being used to heat and cool the property. Passive solar panels, green roofs, natural lighting and natural ventilation strategies also assist in energy conservation. Low-flow water systems and plumbing fixtures make a contribution, as does eco-friendly hardwood flooring, and energy efficient televisions and appliances throughout the property. In addition, some hotels have implemented in-room recycling programs, and only provide all-natural, personal care items. One hotel has actually constructed a bee-keeping operation on their grounds. Not only is this good for the bees but the hotel also produces products from the operation which they sell. This kind of creative innovation also holds enormous appeal to guests. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.