The National Restaurant Association today launched a new campaign - the National Restaurant Association Conserve/EPA ENERGY STAR Challenge, encouraging the nation’s restaurants to reduce their water and energy use.

There are many different ways to reduce energy and water consumption in restaurants, said Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney. We hope that our Conserve/EPA Challenge campaign will motivate those within our industry to continue their journey toward a more sustainable future.”

Owners of the nations nearly 1 million restaurants as well as their approximately 13 million employees, suppliers and guests are all encouraged to participate in this effort.

Attendees and exhibitors at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (May 16-19 in Chicago) can learn more by stopping by booth #6300. More information on how to participate is also available at

Restaurants that reduce energy and water costs will in turn reduce their utility costs. The Association provides a free and easy check-list of energy- and water-saving tips to get Conserve/EPA ENERGY STAR Challenge participants started. The check-list includes steps such as turning off lights and equipment when not in use, serving water upon request, and motivating employees to reinforce conservation efforts.

Another step encourages restaurant operators to benchmark their current energy and water consumption. By benchmarking, or measuring usage, operators can identify opportunities for savings, validate their efforts, and set goals for future reductions.