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Published September 28, 2012, 11:30 PM

Microsoft honored for green efforts

Fargo cafeteria first Three Star Certified Green Restaurant in North Dakota
FARGO – Microsoft announced Friday that its Fargo campus cafeteria is the first Three Star Certified Green Restaurant in the state.

By: Wendy Reuer, INFORUM

FARGO – Microsoft announced Friday that its Fargo campus cafeteria is the first Three Star Certified Green Restaurant in the state.

Dining Services general manager Jim Normandin is already shooting for that fourth star.

Normandin said he is optimistic the cafeteria that offers culinary cuisine on a daily basis will eventually receive the four-star honor, the highest achievement given by the Green Restaurant Association. Only a handful of restaurants nationwide have received that honor.

The three-star honor requires a minimum of 175 points in seven environmental categories, including a minimum of 10 points in each of the following: energy, water, waste, chemicals, food disposables and building.

The cafeteria was not the only green recognition Microsoft announced Friday. The newest building on campus has earned a LEED-Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Microsoft worldwide has been focusing on its environmental impacts. The company announced in May it plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2013, said Chris Owens, Microsoft’s general manager of worldwide real estate.

To do that, the company will implement an internal carbon fee that will offer incentives for energy efficiency and investment in renewable energy. The carbon fee will affect facilities, travel, research labs and data centers in the 100 countries where Microsoft operates, Owens said.

The Fargo campus has already taken several steps to be more green, said Matt Torgerson, senior real estate portfolio manager for the campus. Among them: geo-thermal cooling and heating, more recyclables, natural lighting to conserve energy, conservative landscaping and an ongoing discussion with the city of Fargo about the company’s alternative groundcover plans that can save the city 7 million gallons of water each year.

Even the plates and eating utensils in the cafeteria are made with recycled product.

Award plaques inside the Microsoft Vision building and the cafeteria were unveiled Friday.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530