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Tuesday
Apr062010

Chipotle Goes Solar

It's not too often you will find us writing about other restaurants, but Chipotle is one of the few exceptions.  I am so passionate about cleaning up this industry, that when you see stuff like this, you have to share it with as many people as possible. It's just proof that "the big guys" realize the need for the industry to become more sustainable and extend their eco-efforts beyond food sourcing.

Chipotle Mexican Grill is going solar in a move that will make the company the largest direct producer of energy in the restaurant industry. The chain says it is installing photovoltaic solar panels on 75 of its restaurants over the next year - 13 of their restaurnats have already been retrofitted in select cities like Denver, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. All together, Chipotle says the solar power initiative is expected to avoid some 20,500 tons of CO2 emissions of the life of the project.

Chipotle joins Pizza Fusion in their commitment to truly walking their talk when it comes to greening up their operations.  They also boast 3 LEED certified restaurants and join a long list of chains that are also building green; Pizza Fusion has 5 certified LEED and 4 registered LEED projects. Our Weston location proudly bears a Gold LEED seal.

Chipotle Founder and Chairman Steve Ells says  "the goal is to reduce how much traditional energy the restaurants use from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., when demand for energy is greatest". Chipotle has other "green" projects in the works - its restaurant in Gurnee, Ill. has a wind turbine on site and an underground cistern to harvest rainwater for irrigation.

“Our effort to change the way people think about and eat fast food began with our commitment to serving food made with ingredients from more sustainable sources, and that same kind of thinking now influences all areas of our business,” Ells said.

Well we applaud you Mr. Ells... keep on keepin' on!

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