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Sustainable Corporate Food Service

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 and practices, striving to reduce water usage and lower our carbon footprint.


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

Apples in a Crate

Why Sustainability Matters to Us

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.

How We Make a Difference

To keep up with our goal of sustainability, we implement several processes in our day-to-day routines. Here is a sneak peek at what our sustainable catering service does to support our planet.

We Send Our Food Scraps to Compost

Our corporate kitchen has compost bins at all stations instead of trash cans. Through a partnership with Collective Resource, we compost all our food waste, including bones and proteins. This adds up, reducing our total refuse load by over 55,000 pounds per year. In the process, we create 27.5 tons of usable organic compost.

We Convert Cooking Oil Into Bio-Diesel

With the help of Green Grease, we up-cycle over 1,344 gallons of cooking oil each year, which is then converted to bio-diesel fuel, reducing our waste load by 5.3 tons. Our goal is to have vehicles that can then utilize this product.


We Recycle Cardboard

We also reduce our waste stream load by collecting, bailing and recycling our cardboard packaging. This totals a reduction of more than 45 tons or 90,000 lbs. With every ton of recycled cardboard, the planet saves 400 gallons of oil and 1 ton of CO2 emissions. 


We Partner With

We achieve carbon-neutral events through our partnership with We accomplish this goal by calculating the carbon emissions per event based on the number of guests, size of facility, travel distance, mode of transportation and number of water bottles used. We then purchase carbon offset certificates representing the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions — a principal component of climate change.

Image by Brian Yurasits

We Use Reusable 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. Our next steps include expanding and promoting this simple idea among customers, business partners and suppliers. Let us know if you are interested in implementing this sustainable solution in your office.


We Support Shedd the Straw

Food For Thought Event Group and Workspace Solutions was the first in Chicago to eliminate single-use plastic straws. 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.


We Achieve 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!


We Use Digital Saves

Even our accounting team members joined the fight in 2017 with the goal of reducing their overall paper consumption. As of 2020, in this department, 80% of paper statements are now digital and 85% of paper usage has decreased. These results are possible through reductions in paper invoices, checks and statements, contributing to the organization's overall sustainability.


We Offer a Bike Share Program

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


We Promote Pedal for Change

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 five times in one month, reducing their emissions by up to 25%. As an incentive, team members earn rewards for completing this challenge.

Our Plan for 2025

At Food For Thought, we're serious about our commitment to social responsibility and sustainability. We developed Plan 2025 as a road map to achieve our goal of providing sustainable net-zero food solutions and catering services for offices, events, weddings and galas.

Here's what Plan 2025 includes.


Our goal is to offset all social events from Food For Thought Catering through the responsible purchasing of carbon offsets. This act will lead the industry and support both the planet and our goal to revolutionize and inspire other food service companies.


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 reduces fuel, CO2 emissions, road wear, tire wear and oil usage. Through technology additions, employee training and redeveloped SOPs, we believe we can have a positive impact on our current contribution.



Our 2025 plan includes reducing our virgin and recycled paper usage by moving both our clients and suppliers to 95% digital formatting in billing and invoicing. This involves digital onboarding for new employees, digital contracts for events and digital billing from all suppliers.



Eliminating waste is one of Food For Thought's 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 reducing production waste and increasing recyclable content.

Business Meeting

Positive Change Organizations


Headquarters: Chicago, IL

Industry: Special Event


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


Headquarters: Evanston, IL

Industry: Composting


Collective Resource, Inc. is a woman-owned compost and food scrap pickup service based in Evanston. They collect all food waste and compostable products from homes, businesses and institutions and take them to a commercial composting site. The food scraps then become ​a nutrient-rich soil amendment instead of sitting in a landfill. In addition to hauling compost, they educate the public about the importance of reducing landfill use.


Headquarters: Octavia, IL

Industry: Cooking Oils to Bio-Diesel Reproducer


Green Grease Environmental recycles waste fryer oils from restaurants, hospitals, schools and stadiums in the Chicago area. Additionally, by diverting waste cooking oil from landfills, the production of bio-fuels extends the life of your oil and prevents harmful liquid waste from contaminating groundwater supplies.


Headquarters: Illinois

Industry: Composting


The Illinois Food Scrap Coalition (IFSC) is a thriving not-for-profit organization advancing the diversion and composting of organics in Illinois through advocacy, program implementation, market and business development, policy and outreach.

Reach Out to Us Today

As you can see, Food For Thought prioritizes sustainability in our practices. When you choose us to cater your next event, you support net zero food solutions and take a step toward a better planet.

Food For Thought offers full-service catering for any corporate event, including:

  • Food: FFT can provide quality food for any meeting, corporate party or client visitation. Our ingredients are always fresh and locally sourced to support our community. Our menus are entirely customizable to fit your vision.

  • Vendor setup: We will oversee all vendor setup and teardown so you can focus on more important things and enjoy the event.

  • Event support: Throughout it all, our team is here to answer any questions or address any concerns you have. We care about your event's success just as much as you do!

Contact us today for more information. We look forward to working with you and continuing our commitment to sustainability.

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