Chipotle Mexican Grill announced today a new climate goal, committing to cutting absolute emissions in half across its entire value chain by 2030. The company stated that its new climate ambition has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as being aligned with a long-term global temperature increasing trajectory of 1.5°C.
Food and beverage sector emissions account for about a third of global GHG emissions and are among the most difficult to address, with the vast majority coming from companies’ supply chains, rather than from “direct” emissions from the companies’ operations. In addition to addressing emissions from its own restaurants, Chipotle said that it would also target sources of carbon intensity in its value chain, including transportation and warehousing, the food supply chain and packaging & waste.
The company indicated that its transportation and warehousing initiatives will focus both on reducing emissions associated with transporting and storing its own products, as well as on identifying emission reduction strategies for third-party and white label delivery, as its digital business increases. In its food supply chain, Chipotle aims to explore protein and animal management solutions and the promotion of carbon-reducing practices for produce and other products. Chipotle also will pursue closed-loop packaging solutions and innovations to reduce packaging impact, while utilizing data to reduce overall waste, increase landfill diversion programs, and enhance food waste solutions.
In its restaurants, Chipotle is looking to reduce emissions through the use of Smart Energy Management systems, and is exploring the utilization of renewable energy and more efficient equipment. The company aims to grow its North American footprint to 6,000 restaurants from 2,900 currently, and is pursuing a pilot program exploring scalable construction diversion to reclaim and recycle building materials.
The introduction of the new goal follows the announcement earlier this year by Chipotle that it will begin linking executive compensation with the company’s sustainability goals, unveiling a new metric tying ten percent of officers’ annual incentive bonus to the company’s progress toward achieving its ESG targets.
Laurie Schalow, Chipotle’s Chief Corporate Affairs & Food Safety Officer, said:
“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. We are committed to continuous improvement and will actively do our part to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and protect the planet.”