There are only a few places that I recommend eating at and Chipotle is one of them. The food is quality and the ownership cares equally about health and profits. Which sets them apart from all other fast food chains.
Our country has reached a strange time when a “green” company is booming during a recession. Yet, it is happening all across the country. Since 2006, Chipotle has tripled is revenue and doubled the number of stores.
Which makes it all the more unique that they don’t advertise on TV. They have no Ronald McDonald or Jared the weight loss wunder-kid (Subway).
Just what are they doing to convince you to buy their burritos?
They are raising prices and improving quality…and people are loving them for it!
Maybe Americans really do want good food, or perhaps they are beginning to recognize the quality difference. Either way this is worth looking into…
The story starts back in 1999, when founder Steve Ells visited a farm. What he saw was a CAFO and it disturbed him deeply. Ever since he has been on a mission to fix the problem.
“I did not want Chipotle’s success to be tied to this kind of exploitation.”
Steve Ells, Founder & CEO
Fast forward to today and Chipotle has one of the most effective sustainable and ethically sourced supply chains. They even buy meat from Polyface farms which was featured in the book Omnivore’s Dilemma.
They have an amazingly strong commitment to meat free of hormones, antibiotics, and cages. Produce that is organic, local, and fresh produce. Well, most of the time…
While the farmers markets in this country are exploding, the transition to big business is hitting roadblocks. Small farmers are great for us locavores, but to meet the needs of a typical Chipotle requires much more. A cooperative network of farms, trucks, coordinated deliveries, and processing facilities.
This means that Chipotle restaurants can’t go completely organic and sustainable. They have to wait for the infrastructure to be built, or build it themselves.
“This move transformed the way we run our business…it set us on a journey to examine each of the ingredients we use to make our food, and how we could get them from more sustainable sources.”
Ells concedes that Chipotle’s business model is not easily replicated by other restaurant companies as the supply of ingredients from more sustainable sources is limited, and the costs tend to be higher for buyers of these better ingredients.
“Chipotle is a unique success story in that we have found a way to serve more expensive, sustainably raised ingredients, but in a way that remains affordable to the average customer.”
I can’t say enough about what they are doing. We are all living in a better world because of their work.
If you want to learn more about Chipotle’s commitments visit their Food With Integrity program.
In the meantime, watch this 2-minute animation they made.
The Department of Energy (DOE/FEMP) is holding a monthly online seminar focusing on sustainability. The sessions provide support for legions of federal workers that are leading the nation into our new green economy.
The first session (of six) focuses on Executive Order 13514, commonly called the sustainable order. The following training sessions are as follows:
Mar 4 – Energy 101
Apr 1 – Water Efficiency Planning and Implementation
May 6 – Federal Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting
Jun 3 – Advanced Metering Requirements and Best Practices
Jul 1 – Operations, Maintenance, and Commissioning
Each session is available for free through online video streaming.
I attended the first one (virtually) and here are my notes. Also, I am keeping out the presenters emails but if you have questions and would like their contacts, please let me know.
“As the largest consumer of energy in the US economy the Federal government can and should lead by example when it comes to creating innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, conserve water, reduce waste, and use environmentally-responsible products and technologies.”
The thinking behind the Order is to:
have the federal government “lead by example”
“take pride in agency accomplishments” (highlight work already being done)
encourage agencies to think “integrated planning”
push/pull/force agencies to reach across “stovepipes”
The Federal Government:
Occupies nearly 500,000 buildings
Operates more than 500,000 vehicles
Employs more than 1.8 million civilians
Purchases more than $500 billion per year in goods and services
Benefits to the Nation:
Energy savings – Avoided Costs – Jobs – Innovations – Improvements to Local Infrastructure
Establish an integrated agency strategy for sustainability, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions within the federal government in order to lead by example and achieve a clean energy economy.
“really talking about practical application”
“requires strategic perspective bringing together the right components”
“planning is crucial”
GHG reduction targets, energy efficiency, water use efficiency and mgmt, pollution prevention, waste elimination
Regional and local integrated planning
High performance sustainable Federal buildings
Environmental mgmt systems
Scopes in Greenhouse Gasses, asking for an absolute percentage reduction target for FY 2020, relative to FY 2008. Due:
Scope 1-2 – jan 4, 2010
Scope 3 – jun 2, 2010
By FY 2015 achieve a %50 or higher solid waste diversion and construction/demolition diversion
This represents “nothing less than a transformational shift in how federal governments operate”
DOE to develop greenhouse gas accounting and reporting recommendations by April/Oct
DOT to site sustainable locations for federal facilities
GSA to develop local transportation logistics
DOE to write federal fleet mgmt guidance
GSA to pass along vendor and contractor emissions guidnace
EPA to write stormwater guidance for federal facilities