Japanese restaurant Narisawa was the winner of the first Sustainable Restaurant Award, sponsored by Zacapa, at last night's event after it gained the highest sustainability score in a global rating survey carried out by the SRA.
The association was tasked with grading all 50 restaurants on the list against three main areas - sourcing, environment and society - with restaurants Noma and 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo in BOMBANA in Hong Kong also scoring highly.
SRA spokesperson Tom Tanner said opening up the rating scheme to restaurants across the world and not just those in the UK, was a logical next step.
He said: "We really wanted to open up our rating system to more restaurants and enable diners to know they were in a sustainable restaurant wherever they were in the world. We have already had some interest from restaurants in Australia and the US who are keen to work with us, so it is already moving forward."
The SRA's UK model of scoring restaurants against 14 areas of sustainability will be used when rating restaurants outside the UK with restaurant groups with an international reach already signing up.
Soho House group, which has sites in Miami, West Hollywood, Toronto and Berlin joins D&D London in being the first international restaurant companies to be rated globally. D&D London, whose London restaurants already have a Two Star rating, will see its Tokyo restaurant Botanica rated alongside its sites in Paris, New York and Istanbul.
SRA president Raymond Blanc whose own restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, has a Three Star SRA rating, said: “This is wonderful news for anyone, like me, who cares about where their food comes from and how it is produced. It is encouraging to know that when I am eating out, anywhere in the world, I can check if the restaurant is doing the important things that will help lead to a more sustainable future for us all.
“This is the birth of an international common language of restaurant sustainability. The world’s best chefs have a duty to operate responsibly and I would urge more of my fellow chefs around the world to take the test.”
Narisawa in Tokyo, which topped the inaugural Asia's 50 Best list and rose seven places to number 20 on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list, scored so highly due to its strong commitment to sourcing local produce, its involvement in environmental conservation projects and charity work.
Chef Yoshihiro Narisawa said: “We are committed to operating sustainably every day at Narisawa and we are proud to communicate this globally. We operate sustainably because it is the right thing to do as eating and gastronomy go hand-in-hand with sustainability and it comes naturally to me as a person as well as a chef to take care of nature.”
The global rating follows the SRA's reward of a One Star rating to Eurostar’s catering operation and the announcement of a partnership with Virgin Atlantic Airways which will see the airline’s entire in-flight catering outfit rated.