NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Chipotle Mexican Grill announced it has set science-based targets with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to reduce absolute Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by 2030 from a 2019 base year. The approved targets have been classified by SBTi as being in line with a long-term global temperature increasing trajectory of 1.5°C. Cross-functional stakeholders and third-party experts are actively developing the path forward for achieving and monitoring the company's science-based targets.
"We are passionate about cultivating a better world, and as a company with nearly 3,000 restaurants and approximately 95,000 employees, we have a responsibility to drive meaningful change," said Laurie Schalow, chief corporate affairs & food safety officer. "We are committed to continuous improvement and will actively do our part to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and protect the planet."
To achieve these targets, Chipotle identified the four most carbon-intensive functions of its business to reduce emissions:
- Restaurants: With a long-term goal of having 6,000 restaurants in North America, the brand said it is continuing to identify more sustainable design and development. An ongoing pilot program explores scalable construction diversion to reclaim and recycle building materials for use in future remodels and buildouts. Chipotle also aims to reduce emissions through smart Energy Management Systems (EMS) at its restaurants and partner with like-minded tenants to find efficiencies. The brand is also exploring purchasing renewable energy and integrating more efficient restaurant equipment.
- Transportation and Warehousing: Chipotle will leverage partners and innovation to reduce emissions associated with the transportation and warehousing of its ingredients and products. Additionally, with Chipotle's digital business increasing, the company will identify emissions reduction strategies for third-party and white label delivery.
- Food Supply Chain: In pursuit of its Food with Integrity ethos, Chipotle will explore protein and animal management solutions and promote carbon-reducing practices for produce and other products within the supply chain.
- Waste and Packaging: The brand will pursue closed-loop packaging solutions and leverage new market innovations to reduce its end-of-life impact. To further optimize responsible waste management, Chipotle is utilizing data to reduce overall waste, increase landfill diversion programs and enhance food waste solutions.
In 2020, Chipotle partnered with HowGood, an agency with one of the world's largest sustainability databases to further its transparency efforts and better understand the carbon footprint associated with its menu items. Chipotle launched Real Foodprint on the Chipotle app and Chipotle.com, which compares average values for each of its real ingredients to their conventional counterparts against five key metrics: Less Carbon in the Atmosphere, Gallons of Water Saver, Improved Soil Health, Organic Land Supported and Antibiotics Avoided. The brand later introduced a cumulative extension of its Real Foodprint feature that allows guests to view the cumulative potential impact of all their Chipotle orders, as compared to orders using conventional ingredients, in one comprehensive dashboard on the Chipotle app and Chipotle.com.
Editor's Note: Read our 2020 story on Chipotle's bounce back from the highly publicized foodborne illness outbreaks at its restaurants.