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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."

Food Scraps = Compost

Our corporate kitchen does not have trash cans but compost bins at all stations.  Through a partnership with Collective Resource (CollectiveResource.US), we are able to compost all food waste including bones and proteins.  This adds up,  reducing our total refuse load by 55,000+ pounds per year or we created 27.5 tons of usable organic compost.


Cardboard = Cardboard

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

Cooking Oil = 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 this has reduce our waste load by 5.3 tons.  Our goal to have vehicles that can then utilize this product. Why doesn’t everyone strive to do this?!


Carbon Neutral Events

Carbon neutral events are achieved through our partnership with This is done by calculating the carbon emissions per event based on 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

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.



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.


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 95% 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 reducing production waste and increasing recycle content.

Business Meeting

Positive Change Organizations


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


Headquarters: Evanston, IL

Industry: Composting


Collective Resource, Inc. is a woman-owned compost and food scrap pickup service based in Evanston. We 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, we 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 diversion and composting of organics in Illinois through advocacy, program implementation, market and business development, policy, and outreach.

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