In 2010, interest from Lowell restaurants in achieving green practices sparked the development of a Green Restaurant Certification Program. Over the next couple of years, a committee comprised of several restaurants, Lowell Green Building Commission members, the City of Lowell Department of Planning and Development staff, and the Northern Middlesex Council of Governments, created a checklist and process to certify restaurants as “green” based on achieving a minimum number of actions. These actions are broken into five categories: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle; Energy Conservation; Water Conservation and Protection; Pollution Prevention; and Reducing Your Carbon Footprint. In order to test out the program, the Lowell Green Restaurant Certification Pilot Program was launched in Spring 2012. It consisted of three restaurants who participated over the year to test out the program. Each restaurant chose actions from the checklist that they have achieved or would like to achieve over the year. They were connected to resources which helped them achieve those actions.
In 2013, the Lowell Green Restaurant Program(LGRP) began discussions with the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN) regarding a partnership between our organizations. In May 2014, an official partnership was born and restaurants can now seek certifications from both the Lowell Green Restaurant Program and SBN’s Sustainable Business Leader Program. We are excited about this partnership and look forward to advancing our efforts together.
As of 2014, the original three restaurants in the Pilot Program have achieved certification by LGRP! In Year 3 of this program, our efforts will be focused on supporting the existing the certified green restaurants and welcoming additional restaurants to participate in the program. The Lowell Green Restaurant Program is working to create more sustainable businesses in the Greater Lowell Region and looks forward to working with your restaurant!