Local. Sustainable. Delicious.

Green Initiatives

Green Initiatives

The Grey Plume is the first Green Restaurant Association 4-Star Sustainabuild™ restaurant in the country and has accumulated more points than any other Certified Green Restaurant®.We are the:

  • First Restaurant in the world to meet the SustainaBuild™ Standard
  • First 4-Star Sustainabuild™ Certified Green Restaurant®
  • First Certified Green Restaurant® in Nebraska
  • One of the Nation’s Greenest Restaurants
  • One of the Nation’s Most Sustainable Restaurants

The title represents great dedication to being stewards of the earth and comes with great responsibility.  Good food only comes from good places, sustainable practices and the belief that nourishment and taste are only two aspects of food.

The Green Restaurant Association is a national certification similar to LEED® Certification, but which specifically applies to restaurants. It has been in application since 1960.  For more information about qualifications and certification, visit dinegreen.com.

We have implemented multiple green initiatives into our curriculum and are committed to sustainable practices.  From the 90% recycled content floors to the extensive LED lighting throughout, everything about our restaurant is smart, sophisticated, and sustainable. Nebraskans will be proud to have one of the greenest restaurant in the country in their own backyard.

Below is a list of our initial actions that have breathed life into used products and materials.  While these items cover the majority of our practices, we are always striving to do more.


Click here to view our Green Restaurant Association Certification Report


Furnishings and Building Materials

  • All wood used in the restaurant is FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council: FSCUS.org )
  • Recycled barn wood floor in dining room and bar
  • 36 percent pre-consumer and 36 post-consumer recycled content carpet in the mezzanine and vestibule area
  • FSC-certified dining room chairs with soy-based rapidly renewable foam padding
  • Recycled steel framing, steel stairs and handrails
  • Recycled dry wall
  • Bread plates created out of recycled wine bottles
  • Wood bench, host stand and herb box made out of reclaimed wood from a condemned corn mill
  • Reused antique guerdon, merchandiser and table in chef’s dining area
  • FSC-certified doors and frames
  • Eco-friendly epoxy flooring in kitchen
  • Table tops made out of local reclaimed hickory wood
  • Recycled formica counter tops
  • Sustainable granite countertops
  • Sustainable tile in restrooms
  • Bread trays created out of reclaimed wood
  • Recycled ceiling panels in kitchen

Water and Energy

  • All hand sinks set with faucet aerators to adjust our flow rate to ½ gallon per minute
  • 1.3 percent of all lights are compact CFLs
  • 94 percent of all lights are LEDs
  • Energy-efficient hand dryers in the restrooms
  • Occupancy sensors in office space and restrooms
  • Programmable thermostats for all areas of the restaurant
  • 98 percent thermal efficiency in hot water heater
  • Recycled insulation containing no styrofoam
  • Energy Star refrigerators, ice machine, office equipment and the most energy-efficient dishwasher available on the market
  • Touchless solar-powered hand sinks
  • High-energy-efficient toilets


  • Recycling program for glass, aluminum, plastic and cardboard
  • Menus printed with soy-based ink on recycled paper
  • Used menus shredded and added as a paper supplement to compost
  • Full pre-consumer composting program for all qualified food waste
  • Construction waste diversion – all material waste produced by construction recycled

Pollution and Chemical Reduction

  • GreenPro Certified Pest Control Company
  • Zero VOC Paints
  • Unbleached parchment paper and pastry bags
  • Local beeswax candles
  • All chemicals meet GreenSeal‘s standards
  • Kitchen grease converted to biodiesel through the Omaha Biofuels Coop
  • Soy-based computer ink
  • Reusable coffee filters


The following items are made from materials that are either recycled, biodegradable, or compostable:

  • To-Go ware and silverware including  to-go bags, soup cups, coffee cups
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, tissue paper, paper napkins
  • Coffee bags and labels
  • Drinking straws
  • Office paper

Furniture at The Grey Plume is made of the reclaimed wood of this barn from Ramsey, Iowa.