Find out how your burrito impacts the planet with new tool from Chipotle

In October, we wrote a story about soup and sandwich chain Panera Bread introducing a new label to their menus to show which food items have a low carbon footprint. The idea is that the label can help guide customers towards more eco-friendly diet choices.

In similar news from the restaurant industry, Chipotle has introduced a sustainability tool that allows customers to view the environmental impact of their burrito. The tool, which Chipotle says is the first-of-its-kind, allows customers to see how each of its 53 intentionally sourced ingredients compares to the industry average when it comes to key environmental metrics like carbon emissions and water use.

Retail Leader says the tool works like this: When you place an order on the Chipotle app or on the website, the tracker will show you the environmental impact of each ingredient you select compared to the conventional equivalent. The ingredients are assessed according to five metrics:

  1. Less carbon emitted (measured in grams)
  2. Water saved (in gallons)
  3. Improved soil health (in square feet)
  4. Organic land supported (in square feet)
  5. Antibiotics avoided (in milligrams)

The data points are provided by HowGood, an independent research company, that draws on more than 450 peer-reviewed and scientific studies to compare Chipotle’s ingredients to conventional options. Chipotle is the first restaurant to partner with HowGood, which will regularly update the data points so that customers can see if Chipotle’s environment impact lessens or increases over time.

“Beyond asking people to make the right choice for the climate based on a carbon label, we are demonstrating the impact of our sourcing practices through data computed based on the ingredients in our guests’ orders,” Chipotle’s head of sustainability Caitlin Leibert said in the press release. “While our guests can make good choices for the planet by simply eating at Chipotle, the radical transparency provided by Real Foodprint also holds us accountable to improve our practices and source more sustainably over time.

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