ConServe Certification Application
The ConServe program by the City of Knoxville aims to celebrate restaurants that are committed to low-waste dining while also supporting those interested in making changes to reduce their waste. Restaurant sustainability initiatives are attractive to customers, can reduce operational costs, and decreases environmental impact. We are in the process of certifying restaurants now, so don’t miss this opportunity to stand out as a valued establishment in Knoxville!
We will review your application and schedule an on-site verification visit.
Please be prepared to show evidence or documentation for all practices.
For questions or to receive a copy of this application, contact the ConServe Coordinator.
Email: OR Phone: (865) 215-2872

ConServe Requirements
There are two certification categories, GOLD and SILVER.

GOLD must meet:
All 9 mandatory requirements + 6 flexible requirements must be fulfilled to qualify for ConServe GOLD. Restaurants eligible for ConServe GOLD receive an official City of Knoxville certificate and window cling to highlight your restaurant as eco-friendly, in addition to having your restaurant in the spotlight on the City of Knoxville, ConServe website.

SILVER must meet:
The first 7 mandatory requirements and 5 flexible requirements must be fulfilled to qualify for ConServe SILVER. Restaurants eligible for ConServe SILVER receive an official City of Knoxville certificate as well as having your restaurant’s name featured on the City of Knoxville, ConServe website.
Date of Application *
Business Name *
Business Address *
Business Contact, Person's Name and Their Title *
Contact Phone Number *
Contact Email Address *
Does your business own or lease location?
How many employees does your business currently employ?
PART II - Mandatory Requirements
GOLD must meet all 9 mandatory requirements.

SILVER must meet the first 7 mandatory requirements.
Are you located within the limits of the City of Knoxville? *
A system is in place to gather employee feedback, comments, and suggestions to assess and improve sustainability actions at work. *
Eliminated all use of expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam) from food/ beverage to-go ware, packaging materials, company events and break-rooms. *
Use only recyclable or biodegradable to-go containers. *
Plastic straws are distributed only upon request, or not at all. *
Have an environmental policy statement that outlines your restaurant’s commitment to sustainability, waste reduction, and education of employees. Sample policies available on ConServe Resources page. *
All employees, including new hires, are informed about the ConServe Knoxville program protocols and best practices training. *
(GOLD) Reusable dishware, utensils, and cups are provided for customers and employees when dining in. *
(GOLD) Eliminated use of individual, or sets of wrapped plastic utensils. *
PART III - Flexible Requirements
GOLD must have 6 of the following flexible requirements.

SILVER must have 5 of the following flexible requirements.
For establishments with both to-go and dine in food service, always ask if meal is “for here or to go” before using disposable ware.
Clear selection
Always ask before providing to-go bags, straws, receipts, utensils, napkins, and condiment cups or packets.
Clear selection
Offer incentives to customers who bring their own reusable coffee mugs, to-go dishes, and/or bags.
Clear selection
Offer no straws or use those that are washable or compostable.
Clear selection
Sustainability practices are communicated to customers through menus, displays, website, etc.
Clear selection
Offer flexible portions (i.e. smaller portions, half-sizes).
Clear selection
Offer side dishes and free appetizers (i.e. bread, chips) as optional.
Clear selection
Actively encourage use of appropriately sized take-out containers.
Clear selection
Donate excess food to shelters, food banks, or other organizations that accept food waste.
Clear selection
Adjust ice machines to produce only what is needed.
Clear selection
Eliminate single-use bottles of water for employees and customers.
Clear selection
Specials are shared verbally or on a chalk/white board, not printed.
Clear selection
Using health dept. compliant refillable/reusable condiment containers in lieu of individual condiment packets (e.g., salt, sugar, ketchup).
Clear selection
Select products shipped with less packaging or in returnable, reusable or recyclable containers. If yes, please provide proof during the certification walk-through.
Clear selection
Electronic alternatives to paper are used whenever possible (invoicing, payroll, orientation materials, emailing receipts, etc.).
Clear selection
Provide container(s) for recyclables for wait and kitchen staff.
Clear selection
Provide container(s) for Front of House recycling, including sorting containers and customer-friendly signage for acceptable items.
Clear selection
Printed menus that have a post-consumer content of at least 30%.
Clear selection
Use office/copy paper that has a post-consumer content of at least 30%
Clear selection
Use paper bags that have a post-consumer content of at least 30%.
Clear selection
Use paper hand towels that have a post-consumer content of at least 30% or are using air dryers with appropriate filters in restrooms.
Clear selection
Use remanufactured copier toner cartridges.
Clear selection
Be an EAT REAL certified restaurant.
Clear selection
Be a Slow Food certified restaurant.
Clear selection
Join the Get Food Smart TN pledge.
Clear selection
Offer sustainable catering practices (minimal packaging, reusable serving ware, buffet-style serving, etc.)
Clear selection
Thinking Outside the Box: Please list any additional sustainability initiatives implemented at your restaurant, to be considered for additional points.
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