At a Glance


Food Services

Project Type

Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy




San Francisco, CA


Chris Gassman created an efficiency strategy for Compass's commercial food service kitchens.


Chris Gassman spent the summer of 2010 as an EDF Climate Corps fellow at Compass Group North America, the leading food service company in the U.S. market. Compass touches a diverse array of clients in over 8,000 commercial kitchens across the country. These clients increasingly ask for food service solutions that help them tackle their own carbon footprints, as commercial kitchens are often five times as energy intense as average office space per square foot. Chris, a MBA/JD student at Carnegie Mellon University Tepper School of Business & University of Pittsburgh School of Law, worked with Compass's Business Excellence Team to research and combine Group and industry best practices in Menuing, Kitchen Services, Site Equipment, Facilities, and Transparency.

Video: Gassman discusses his projects at Compass.


Chris developed "Three Tiered Strategy for Operational Excellence," a playbook to guide frontline managers in a systems approach to the lowest hanging fruit and build traction from there to the largest hanging fruit. Chris's final report indicated that there are incredible efficiency opportunities available for most commercial food service units. Chris's initial estimates illustrated hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars in annual expenses that could easily be saved with little upfront effort or cost through providing energy guidance to clients.

Potential Impact

Compass used Chris's "Three Tiered Strategy for Operational Excellence" to create its recently developed "carbon foodprint toolkit." Developed as a web-based tool, the easy-to-use application helps mitigate the carbon footprint of a foodservice account operated by Compass Group, and creates a customized strategy for the operation to lower their carbon footprint and reduce carbon emissions. A user can make up to 185 strategic choices to create its own customized strategy project management document with four strategic paths available to green an operation: menu engineering; kitchen services/site equipment; and facilities.

Related Links