Sustainable Business Highlight: Vatel Restaurant

Vatel Restaurant is a sustainability award-winning business in Sydney, and in the past they have been involved in with our Sustainable Cities Awards.

We’ve been saluting environmental initiatives in business through our awards programs’ long history, and it’s no coincidence that many finalists are businesses in the food and beverage industry.

Environmental sustainability is on the rise as a priority in the hospitality sector. It’s a competitive industry to exist in, and customers are increasingly taking environmentalism into account in their choices. Sustainability is now becoming critical for commercial success.

And who wouldn’t want to contribute to a healthier world while still reducing costs, as is the outcome of most environmental footprint reductions?

Vatel, a small French restaurant in the heart of Drummoyne, has been established for just over a decade. Vatel’s owner, Philippe Pinson, shares below some of sustainability design highlights that have contributed to making his restaurant an award-winning example of sustainable practice:

Already aware of the environmental impact a small business can have, I decided to integrate new strategies when relocating to our new address 188 Lyons rd Drummoyne.

Some of our ‘sustainability design highlights’ include:

  • Insulating the roof and ceiling of the building beyond the required building code requirements.
  • Installing an efficient inverter air conditioning system.
  • Using energy efficient lighting – no down lights but only our decorative energy saving pendants
  • Changing over all of our refrigeration using Hydro carbon gas with the best possible equipment on the market.
  • Installing solar panels so we can produce as much electricity as possible during prep time.
  • Shift our cooking equipment from gas to electrical as well as using induction cooking during the day.

The result speaks for itself.

4 years ago when we started at the new address, we were using an average of 53 KW per day.

My last bill for the quarter was an average of 27 KW per day for electricity.

At the same time I have also reduce our gas need by 30%.


Every bottle goes through the recycling bin, every cardboard is reused with the veg growers at the Flemington market.

All veg scraps go through either a large worm farm I built in 2009 or the new addition, through the chicken coop!

Other Projects

A veg garden so we can grow some of the veg and herbs we need for the restaurant, using the compost from the worm farm

Future projects: in the coming years I will install some batteries to store energy and thus not sending anything back to the grid. I should be reducing my energy consumption further by around 5 KW per day, I will also retrofit the lighting in the kitchen (at the moment I use fluorescent light tubes 36 watts)

Led light tubes 20 watts are now available on the market. That is a saving of 80 watts per hour or minimum 800 watts per day, which amounts to 4 kw per week.

We are always looking for better ways to reduce our carbon footprint and for innovative ways of remaining a more sustainable business.

My message to any small business is being sustainable makes sense not only good for the environment but also helps with the bottom line and in these uncertain economic times nothing should go to waste!


If you want to check out Vatel Restaurant personally, they can be found at 188 Lyons Rd, Drymmoyne, or online at www.vatelrestaurant.com.au

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