Nashville’s Music City Center was recently awarded REAL Certification by the U.S. Healthful Food Council. REAL (Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership) is a nationwide program that helps combat diet-related disease by recognizing food service operators committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship.
The Music City Center is the nation’s first convention center to receive REAL certification.
“We are tremendously proud of this achievement,” said Charles Starks, president and CEO of the Music City Center and an IAVM member. “It signifies the Music City Center’s commitment to our customers and the community.”
Factors that led to the certification include using local produce, sustainable sourcing, and offering healthy menu options. The venue purchases 99 percent of its produce from 68 local and regional farms. It also donates all leftover food to local nonprofit organizations.
“Coming to the Music City Center, I was excited to work with the Middle Tennessee farmers and explore the local bounty that Tennessee has to offer,” said Max Knoepfel, executive chef of the Music City Center. “We focus on using the best fresh, nutritional, and local ingredients from farms in the area. I believe it’s important for us to return as much as we take from the land, which is why my team in the kitchen works hard to be as sustainable as possible.”
The center was also recently awarded LEED Gold certification for New Construction by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.
Factors leading to this certification include a green, four-acre roof; a rainwater harvest system; and extensive LED lighting with specialized controls. The building consumes 20 percent less energy than conventionally designed buildings of the same type.
“We are tremendously proud of this achievement,” said Marty Dickens, chair of the Convention Center Authority. “It signifies Nashville’s commitment to the environment, and the Music City Center is proud to be a part of the green building movement here.”
And while we’re talking about the Music City Center, check out the October/November 2013 issue of FM magazine, which features the venue as a powerhouse of wired and wireless connectivity.
(Image: Music City Center)