Chipotle redesigns restaurants to improve energy efficiency

Chipotle Mexican Grill has published a new blueprint for ‘responsible restaurant design’ and confirmed plans to develop more than 100 stores following this framework by the end of next year.

Chipotle redesigns restaurants to improve energy efficiency

The US-headquartered food chain has this week published its 2022 sustainability report confirming the new commitment.

Stores designed to the blueprint are not connected to the gas grid for heating or cooking, instead using 100% electric power. All appliances are classed as energy efficient. Power is procured exclusively from wind and solar sources using tariffs backed with renewable energy credits or certificates. On-site solar will be added to suitable locations in the future.

40% of Chipotle’s total energy consumption in 2022 was met with renewables. It primarily sourced renewable electricity through certificate-backed tariffs.

The new more sustainable Chipotle stores are also built with changes to the fabric to improve energy efficiency, plus electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities for customers.

The ‘responsible restaurant design’ blueprint has been followed in the delivery of new Chipotle locations in Gloucester, Virginia and Jacksonville, Florida. A third location in Castle Rock, Colorado, will be completed this summer. By the end of 2024, Chipotle is aiming to deliver more than 100 restaurants that are fully electric and energy efficient, primarily in North America.

Chipotle’s long-term goal is to operate 7,000 locations in North America alone, up from some 3,200 globally at present. It will need to decouple its growth from emissions; the firm has set a science-based target, verified in line with a 1.5C trajectory, to halve emissions across all scopes between 2019 and 2030.

“With our aggressive development goal in North America, we hold ourselves accountable to reduce the environmental impact of our restaurants,” said Chipotle’s chief corporate affairs officer Laurie Schalow. “We are aiming to incorporate some elements of our responsible restaurant design into many of our new restaurant openings going forward.”

Dining out

Chipotle is one of several food businesses to have unveiled improvements to store or restaurant sustainability in recent times.

Earlier this week, British bakery chain Greggs confirmed that it has incorporated elements from its own ‘eco-shop’ design to 250 locations, and is aiming to reach 400 locations by the end of 2023 – equivalent to around one-fifth of its portfolio of stores. Elements include heat pumps, air curtains, solar control glass and water-saving taps and toilets.

Last month, Domino’s Pizza Group opened a new ‘low-carbon’ store in London which is fitted with heat pumps, thermal curtains and other energy efficiency features. Its delivery drivers are using e-bikes and its energy will be 100% renewable electricity.

edie’s recent survey of energy and sustainability managers from 225 different organisations, 85% of which were based in the UK, revealed that three-quarters are prioritizing investment in energy efficiency this year.

Comments (1)

  1. Nigel Upson says:

    I note that aside from energy efficient equipment the design is all about green energy generation. How about, no energy consumption as a goal? Installation of heat recovery from refrigeration would reduce carbon emissions even using green energy! By not using energy to heat water demand is reduced and the global balance of energy derived from green vs. carbon is tipped one more increment toward no carbon. Nigel Upson Marketing and Comms Director DK Heat Recovery Ltd

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