How to launch a sustainable office food service program 

Practical tips for implementing an eco-friendly food and beverage program at your office. 
Sustainable Food Service Program

Let's talk sustainability! It may feel like just another business buzzword these days, but corporate initiatives that better the planet can impact the entire human race. According to scientists, without making changes to the behavior that negatively affects the environment, we may run out of fossil fuels, huge numbers of animal species will become extinct, and the atmosphere will be irreparably damaged. In short, aiming to be more Earth-friendly is kind of a big deal

Awareness about the damage common behaviors have on the environment is on the rise and more and more companies and individuals are open to changing their lives to keep the planet spinning. Aside from the obvious perks of keeping the Earth spinning just a little bit longer, implementing green practices can also:

  • Cut office expenses
  • Save energy 
  • Reduce the load in landfills
  • Improve your brand image 
  • Increase employee engagement 

It's no secret that building a sustainable office isn't the easiest thing to do, but the long-term benefits are immeasurable. To get you started, we've condensed sustainable office snack tips into a comprehensive list you can reference again and again. 

Trust us, Mother Earth will thank you. 



Explore the five practices leading workplaces use to build sustainable office pantry programs. 


Crafting sustainable office pantry report

1. Opt for mission-driven office snacks

From upcycling* to sourcing, many brands are putting their money where their mouth is with eco-friendly missions. If you're curious about where your favorite brands stand on environmental causes, visit their websites or review individual packaging.

The brands doing the most are usually excited to tell their audience about it. For example, the popular brand Clif Bar has a "traceability program to make sure they know where ingredients are coming from, increasing organic and certified-sustainable purchases every year (currently 76% of all ingredients are organic or certified sustainable), diverting 90% of waste from landfills from its headquarters and bakeries, and aiming to achieve 100% on renewable energy to power its facilities." They write about it frequently across their website and product containers. Too busy to research? If you work with a reputable snack provider, they can quickly point you toward sustainability-focused brands. They'll even have filters within their ordering platforms that make it easy to see what brands engage in green practices or donate their profits to green causes. 

Here are a few more of our favorite sustainable snack brands: 

  • Barnana - partners with farms in Latin America to turn the bananas that would normally go to waste into tasty treats! Not-so-fun fact: 50% of all bananas go to waste. 
  • ReGrained - works with breweries to rescue the grain used in the brewing process to make delicious superfood bars and puffs.  

Made famous by Tom's shoes, we have also seen a number of great brands focus their energy on a charitable mission of giving back with sales of their products:

  • Rind - helps consumers "snack better and do better" by using whole fruit to create its delicious dried snacks, maximizing nutritional value and minimizing food waste.
  • This Bar Saves Lives - on a mission to end childhood malnutrition, they will send life-saving food packets to a child in need every time you make a purchase of their tasty bars.

*Upcycling (also known as "creative reuse") is the process of turning waste or by-product into a new product or material. 

Crafty sustainable office snacks and beverages

2. Look for ways to reduce waste


According to the non-profit, Move for Hunger, around 35% of food produced in America goes unsold or uneaten. Yeah, you read that right. That number includes those catered salads, coffee creamers, and fresh fruit that get tossed each day in offices around the globe.

One way to fight against excessive waste is by monitoring inventory levels. The more aware you are of what and how much your team consumes, the harder it is to over-order. Tools like Crafty's Inventory Technology can help. Yes, this is a shameless plug, but it's for a good reason! Maintaining tight inventory levels keeps products fresh for longer and makes it easier to consume everything before the expiration date.

You can also fight against waste by investing in reusable goods to avoid waste caused by single-use dishware and food storage. Reusable juice pitchers, stainless steel silverware, and ceramic plates are all wonderful alternatives that can also elevate your aesthetic. 


3. Introduce and label new disposal methods

You've probably witnessed someone in your office chucking a soda can or pizza box into the general trash bin. Some people need to learn just how vital waste sorting is. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at least 75 percent of American household waste can be recycled. The proper materials must be separated to be fed into the correct recycling process to recycle effectively. When you don't sort materials, many recyclable materials can end up in landfills or be incinerated, taking valuable resources away. 

To help ensure your team is disposing of goods properly, set up clear signage for each waste, recycling, and compost receptacle and use visual elements to allow people to sort things properly. You can also introduce new waste management solutions that account for the items people aren't used to recycling locally, such as snack wrappers, coffee capsules, and plastic cutlery.

Here at Cratfy, we're partnered with Terracycle, the disposal company that has been inventing new ways to recycle and reuse garbage for over 20 years. Terracyle offers free recycling programs sponsored by brands so that you pay nothing to participate, zero Waste Boxes, which are available for purchase to recycle almost any type of trash, and more. Collected items are manually sorted into broad product categories (flexible plastic, coffee capsules, toothbrushes, etc.) We then sort mechanically based on material composition and characteristics, using various sorting technologies, including size separation, sink/float, optical, air density, gravity, magnetic, and more, to route material downstream for proper processing and handling. Once sorted by category, the materials are cleaned and sent to third-party partners to process into raw materials used to make new products, like park benches, flooring tiles, garden beds, and more.

Terracyle office snack sustainability program

4. Turn to sustainable packaging & office kitchen equipment

Peace out, plastic! Aloha, aluminum! (Aloha means goodbye too, right?).

Look, getting rid of plastic and aluminum is no small feat. That said, we have some ideas that can help us reduce our footprint:

  • Kegs - finally, you have an excuse to get your office that kegerator you've had your eyes on! The world of kegged beverage options is expanding right in front our eyes (e.g., cold brew, sparkling water, tea, kombucha, beer, wine, etc.), and with a Crafty on your side, you'll be able to find the perfect kegerator for your office.
  • Glass, not Plastic - glass is 100% recyclable and around 80% of recovered glass containers fulfilled their true destiny and were recycled into new glass bottles and other things. That’s super high compared to plastic, which was estimated to be around only 9.5 percent. Also, let’s try and make it 100% by next year!
  • Water Machines - the office water machine has never looked more like Bicentennial Man (RIP Robin Williams) than it does now. Elevated water machines like the Bevi will have your office forgetting life with LaCroix ever existed, and water & ice machine combinations like the Follett 7 Series can take your water game to below freezing temperatures.
  • Bulk like the Hulk - from trail mixes to granolas, and from peanut butter-filled pretzels to beyond, we have a ton of bulk options to choose from.  

Let's be real though. Many of our offices currently operate with single-serve options, and getting rid of them entirely is just not feasible. Well, fear not! We can still look at the type of packaging we are using to evaluate the impact of each option when selecting what to fill our kitchens with.  

ecofriendly office kitchen equipment

Standup Flexible Pouch packaging is the best of the best.  Awesome products like Vita Coco Coconut Water are flexing super hard these days with Tetra Pak packaging (a BPA-free, eco- and socially-responsible form of packaging made from wood fiber).

5. Reduce your carbon footprint

Tracking your carbon footprint is another way of saying you're monitoring your energy consumption. So when it comes to the office, the biggest targets will be our robotic friends, the machines (e.g., coffee machine, water machine, refrigeration, etc.).

Cleaning the fridge can help. When you open the fridge door, moisture gets inside and eventually builds up around the coils. Frost forms on the coils, which leads to restricted airflow. As a result, it takes more and more energy to keep the fridge at the same cool temperature. Regularly servicing the fridge will reduce the energy used in the long run (and your electricity bill!).

Believe it or not, the machine with the most significant carbon footprint from your office's food and beverage program is outside your kitchen: delivery trucks(cheeks just turned red). As service providers who rely on trucks to get out clients the snacks they love, it's important to be transparent. 

By consolidating your vendors with Crafty, you create fewer deliveries per client. Reducing the number of deliveries into a single drop ensures you're getting everything you need with the least impact. 


Elevate your office food and beverage program with enhanced services managed in one innovative, centralized platform.