Green Concessions Policy


The Chicago Department of Aviation’s (CDA) Green Concessions Policy is among the first of its kind in the airport industry.

The policy provides concessionaires at O'Hare and Midway Airports with guidance and standards for minimizing waste, enhancing recycling, generating demand for eco-friendly products and providing healthier foods for passengers and ​employees. All concessionaires must adhere to the Policy’s requirements as listed in the Sustainable Airport Manual™​​ (SAM®) Terminal Occupants chapter:

  • Hold Green Meetings (SAM Credit 1.1)
  • Assign Environmental Liaison (SAM Credit 7.1)
  • Eliminate the Use of Polystyrene Foam (Styrofoam) (SAM Credit 7.2)
  • Procure sustainable foods and consumer products to a minimum of 10 percent of total costs (SAM Credit 7.3)
  • Use only Environmentally-friendly cleaning and hygiene products (SAM Credit 8.1)
  • Source-separate all solid waste refuse into recyclables, compostables, and refuse (SAM Credit 11.1)
  • Donate surplus food to the greatest extent allowable by food safety regulations (SAM​​ Credit 11.2)
  • Ban all petroleum-based plastic bags, plastic disposable consumer containers and utensils (SAM​​ Credit 11.3)
  • Utilize biodegradable trash bags (SAM Credit 11.4)

CDA staff offers outreach and training for all concessionaires regarding compliance with the policy. The policy serves as an implementation tool to help achieve the CDA’s waste reduction goal of diverting at least 50 percent of waste from landfills.


O'Hare’s Tortas Frontera restaurant won the “Best Fast Food/Quick Service Restaurant” award at the 2012 Moodie Food & Beverage Conference and landed a first place ranking on GQ Magazine’s list of the 10 Best Airport Restaurants in America.'