For all businesses, "respecting the environment" means that the company establishes a management system, whereby the company can document that it seeks to protect the environment. Specifically, this means that the company regularly assesses the adverse impacts it has on the environment and seeks to reduce them. All companies have adverse impacts on the environment.
The process for establishing a management system is well-defined through the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, which can be used by all companies, not only multinationals. Through the management system, the company becomes transparent about its impact on the environment and how it addresses and reduces it. In this way, the company achieves increased credibility in relation to what it is doing to protect the environment.
The items to which each company should relate are defined in the Rio Declaration of 1992 and the UN Climate Change Convention of 2015 (Paris Agreement). Examples of what the restaurant industry must address in its endeavor to respect the environment include water consumption, energy consumption, animal welfare and food waste.