Chipotle has launched a “sustainability tracker” to help inform customers of the environmental impact of its menu items.
The “Real Foodprint tracker” will show diners data on five environmental metrics: the carbon released in the atmosphere, gallons of water saved, improved soil health, organic land supported, and antibiotics avoided.
The tracker, available for online orders, will also show every digital order their environmental “foodprint,” helping consumers understand how certain Chipotle’s ingredients can benefit the environment.
The fast-casual restaurant partnered with the independent research company HowGood to supply the environmental impact data, based on more than 450 sources, of certain Chipotle ingredients in comparison to other industry products.
The “foodprint” essentially allows consumers to build a custom order with the environmental tradeoffs in mind, knowing how much adding chicken, rather than steak, contributes to carbon emissions. Or how choosing tofu or veggies involves no antibiotics compared to meat options.
“We just feel like the more you know what food you’re eating, you can make more conscious choices,” Chipotle CMO Chris Brandt told Fast Company. “A big problem is people don’t even know what the right choice is. So here’s one metric or measure that can make you feel good.”
Chipotle partnered with Bill Nye to show how Real Footprint works.
Chipotle is the newest restaurant chain to jump into the growing trend of sharing environmental data with customers.
Panera recently announced it would start labeling climate-friendly menu items as part of its new Cool Food Meals program. Over half of Panera’s entrees have been certified as Cool Food Meals allowing guests to chose salads, soups, and sandwiches with a lower carbon footprint.
Just Salad also became the first U.S. restaurant chain to add carbon labels to its entire menu earlier this year. Each menu item now displays the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production and transportation of the ingredients, allowing consumers to make informed decisions about what they eat.
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