Shout Out! The Garden's Latest Sustainability Awards

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The Missouri Botanical Garden has long been a model for sustainable practices and continues to make tremendous strides as time progresses. Get details on what recognition and awards the Garden has recently received and what innovations were made to earn them! 

Sassafras Café is again 5-Star Green Certified 

The Garden’s Sassafras Café has been a high performer for each of the five years we’ve been certified by the St. Louis Green Dining Alliance. Leadership from Michael Shine, Catering St. Louis, and his staff have polished the restaurant’s green practices, and cooked up more. Points in our 2019 5-Star rating improved 14% on last year’s 5-Star score, to achieve four or more Stars in six of the seven categories evaluated.

The EarthWays Center team supports green learning and operations for the Garden’s food service contractor, Catering St. Louis. The café’s everyday purchasing, preparation, serving, composting and recycling are also in practice for all Garden events. Thanks to this dedicated partnership, your party or meeting will enjoy the same high standard of sustainable service, as your guests enjoy the beauty of a celebration at the Garden.

To earn Green Dining Alliance certification, a restaurant must commit to GDA Core Concepts. These requirements include using no Styrofoam, phasing in energy efficient lighting, and both practicing recycling and setting waste reduction goals. Operational measures reviewed include:

  • Recycling and Waste Reduction
  • Sourcing and Procurement
  • Water Conservation
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Chemicals
  • Awareness and Education
  • Innovation

The Green Dining Alliance is a program of Earth Day 365. Over 100 area restaurants, catering enterprises and food trucks are GDA certified members. Sassafras was one of the first GDA participants. Prior to joining the GDA, Sassafras was certified by the Green Restaurant Association, based in Boston.

To learn more about Sassafras green dining endeavors click here.



Commerce Bank Center for Science Education (CBEC)  -
Recertifies LEED Silver

In partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council – Missouri Gateway Chapter and the Missouri Botanical Garden’s General Services and Facility Support departments, EarthWays staff spent much of 2018 working to document CBEC’s recertification under the LEED for Existing Building: Operations & Maintenance rating system. LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building rating system that provides independent verification of a building or neighborhood’s green features. LEED has revolutionized the construction industry since it was introduced in 2000, making practices that once seemed impossible – recycled-content carpet, using low VOC paint, and more – normal practice in design and construction. LEED for Existing Buildings certifies buildings that have been in operation for at least one year, and covers the building's performance in six categories: energy, water, sustainable sites, materials and resources, location & transportation, and indoor environmental quality.

The building first earned LEED EB:O+M Silver certification in 2012, through a partnership with USGBC-Missouri Gateway Chapter staff and volunteers. This time, the building was recertified under LEED version 4, the most current and most vigorous version of the green building rating system. For more information on the LEED rating system click here.



Garden Among First to Receive BGCI Conservation Accreditation

The Missouri Botanical Garden is among the first recipients of Botanic Gardens Conservation International's Advanced Conservation Practitioner Accreditation. The BGCI Conservation Practitioner Accreditation recognizes botanic gardens with a focus on conservation actions that support local, national, or global conservation goals. BGCI accreditation ensures that gardens' conservation work adheres to international standards, results in tangible benefits for participating gardens—such as recognition, peer review, creating standards for excellence, and funding—and acts as a motivator for botanic garden leadership.  With the submission, 80% of the information requested focused on the Garden’s living plant collections and management. They assessed the value of the MBG living plant collections from a conservation perspective. The remaining 20% of the information requested focused on the Garden’s sustainability efforts. It was with unanimous approval of BGCI’s 30 international expert advisory committee members that MBG was awarded the accreditation, specifically sighting that our plant conservation activities were of global significance. They also highlighted plants that MBG is protecting in our living collections that are at no other garden and those at fewer than five gardens. Congratulations to all involved with these efforts!


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