Chipotle, already one of my favorite fast food restaurants, has earned more points with me. Is this another sign that Colorado is becoming the model state for renewable, sustainable energy? Chipotle’s headquarters is based in Denver.
Here’s one more reason to feel good about heading out to Chipotle for a burrito: The Denver-based Mexican restaurant chain has just announced that is making a big solar power push, partnering with Standard Renewable Energy to install solar panels at approximately 75 of its restaurants over the next year:
20,500 Tons of CO2 Avoided Annually
Installation of the solar panels is currently underway in Denver, Colorado and Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio, Texas. All together, Chipotle says the solar power initiative is expected to avoid some 20,500 tons of CO2 emissions of the life of the project — and that when completed Chipotle can boast being the largest direct producer of solar power in the restaurant industry.
Keep in mind, that’s not all of the restaurants’ electricity usage, but it’s certainly a good start.
Eco-Commitment Extends Beyond Food Sourcing
Touting his restaurants’ green efforts, Chipotle founder and co-CEO Steve Ellis said,
Our effort to change the way people think about and eat fast food began with our commitment to serving food made with ingredients from more sustainable sources. Today we’re following a similar path in the way we design and build restaurants, looking for more environmentally friendly building materials and systems that make our restaurants more efficient.
Regarding the eco-friendly building materials part: Chipotle soon will have three LEED-certified buildings in its chain, one in Illinois (with an on-site wind turbine), one in Long Island, and one in Minneapolis (pending certification).