Giles Coren of The Times has become the UK's first restaurant critic to include a sustainability rating to calculate the overall scores in his restaurant reviews.
Coren will work with the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) and rate an establishment's sustainability credentials alongside his scores for its food, atmosphere and service.
After dining at a restaurant he intends to review, the critic will get the SRA to conduct a 70-question survey covering 14 areas of sustainability to calculate an overall sustainability score out of 10. Areas covered include sourcing, energy efficiency and waste management, as well as engagement with staff and the local community.
D&D London's Coq d'Argent was the first restaurant to include a sustainability rating in Coren's latest review, published last Saturday, and scored seven out of 10.
Coren said: "This is a natural progression for me. I used my column during 2004-05 to campaign for better welfare and environmental standards to be applied to the meat and fish you get in restaurants, and things have improved considerably since then, probably coincidentally.
"Then in 2006-07 I badgered restaurants to offer tap water ahead of bottled, for so many reasons. And that actually did come off and the world changed a little bit. So I've decided to have a crack at sustainability, tout court."
Mark Linehan, managing director of the SRA, added: "Restaurants deserve recognition for their good practice and diners want to be able eat out without worrying about where the chicken on the menu was sourced or how much the kitchen porter is paid.
"We are delighted to be working with The Times so that their readers now have a straightforward sustainability guide."
By Kerstin Kühn
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