Trees From Above

Our Operating Principles

Food For Thought is mindful of the fact that “we do not own this planet; we borrow it from our children.” Therefore, we are committed to promoting a healthy, clean environment.  To achieve this, we continue to build on our eco-friendly programs, striving to reduce water usage and lower our carbon footprint.


Realization of these goals is never complete as lower impact products and processes are always being created, reviewed, and initiated.

Apples in a Crate

"We do not own this planet;

     we borrow it from our children."


Our corporate kitchen does not have trash cans but compost bins at all stations.  Through a partnership with Collective Resources, we are able to compost all food waste including bones and proteins.  This adds up,  reducing our total refuse load by  104,000+ pounds per year.

Re-Usable Cups

At our corporate offices, we eliminated single-use cups and installed bottle filling stations. This simple  act saves over 35,000 single-use cups a year. Simple and achievable by all? Yes. Next steps include expanding and promoting this simple idea among customers, business partners and suppliers.

Cooking Oil = Bio-diesel

With the help of Green Grease, we up-cycle over 8,500 lbs of cooking oil each year which is then converted to bio-diesel fuel.  Our goal to have vehicles that can then utilize this product . Why doesn’t everyone do this?!

Carbon Neutral Events

Carbon neutral events are achieved through our partnership with TerraPass. By calculating the carbon emissions per event based on number of guests, size of facility, est. travel distance to event, est. mode of transportation, and number of water bottles used. We can then purchase carbon offset certificates representing the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions - a principal component of climate change.


Energy Star

Our industry uses equipment to produce product; our equipment uses natural resources. When equipment is replaced or required in new projects, we are committed to ensuring that it be Energy Star certified. Energy Star products are independently certified to save energy.


Food For Thought Catering was the first caterer in Chicago to eliminate single-use plastic straws from our events. When you visit our corporate offices, you are given a metal reusable straw to eliminate the need for single-use plastics where possible. With each person using approximately 250+ straws a year, it’s an easy opportunity to make an impact.

eWaste Recycling

We have achieved 100% recycling of our used copier and printer toner cartridges.  We also have accomplished the goal of 100% achievement in the proper recycling of electric devices including computers, monitors, POS Systems and more!

Digital Saves

Accounting team members joined the fight in 2017 with a goal of reducing their overall paper consumption. As of 2020 in this department, 80% of paper statements are now digital and paper usage has decreased by 85% via reductions in paper invoices, checks, and statements, contributing to the organization's overall sustainability.

FFT Bike Share

We love bikes and think everyone should be riding.  Our Bike Share program upcycles existing bikes (no need to buy new - there are more than enough out there!), services them, and keeps them on the road by allowing any team member to sign one out for an hour, day, or week.  Keep riding!

Pedal For Change

Is our in-house annual event to promote riding bikes and reduce our carbon emissions. We challenge our team to commute by bike at least 5 times in the month, reducing their emissions by up to 25%. As an incentive, team members earn rewards for completing this challenge.

Plan 2025

    It is our goal to offset all social events from Food For Thought Catering through the responsible purchasing of carbon offsets. This will be industry leading and support both the planet and our goal to revolutionize and inspire the industry.


    When trucks in our fleet are retired, we commit to replacing them with more efficient options.  We estimate that this will decrease our fuel consumption by 15 to 20% annually.

    By efficient routing, and increased packs we can reduce truck hours on deliveries, each mile reduced saves fuel, C02 emissions, road wear, tire wear and oil usage.  Through technology additions, employee training and redeveloped SOP’s, we believe we can have a positive impact on our current contribution.

    Our 2025 plan includes reducing our virgin and recycled paper usage through moving both our clients and suppliers to 100% digital formatting in billing and invoicing.  This includes digital onboarding for new employees, digital contracts for events and digital billing from all suppliers.


    Eliminating waste is one of Food For Thoughts main environmental focus areas.  We are making every effort to reduce the amount of waste generated from our operations.  By 2025, our ambition is to reach a goal of only 15% of the waste from our corporate office, production facility and warehouse to reach landfill. We intend to do this by both reducing production waste and increasing how much we recycle.

Business Meeting

Positive Change Organizations


Headquarters: Washington, DC

Industry: Non-Profit - Dedicated to Environmental Certification


The Green Seal Mark on your products or services is an instant indicator that you have met or exceeded leadership-level, life-cycle-based criteria for sustainability. A thirty-year-old organization applying science-based standards providing a road map to improve sustainability and earn third-party certification from one of the most respected ecolabels in the industry.


Headquarters: Chicago, IL

Industry: Special Event


The Green Wedding Alliance is community of environmentally and socially responsible event vendors that connect conscious consumers for mindful weddings, commitment ceremonies, corporate, and social events


7001 Ridgeway Ave, Lincolnwood, IL 60712

Tel: (847) 982-2608

© Copyright 2020 Food For Thought