Sweetgreen Looks to Go Greener, Pledges to Reach Carbon Neutrality By 2027
The fast-casual restaurant Sweetgreen has promised that it will work to cut all carbon emissions by 2027. The move to carbon neutrality coincides with the company’s partnership with Watershed, a climate-focused company that helps businesses measure carbon footprints. The salad chain has stayed true to its goal to connect customers with real food by providing an extensive, fresh menu that caters to plant-based eaters. The newly-released six-year plan to reach carbon neutrality falls in line with the company's core mission to do right by the consumer and the planet.
“Simply put, we believe it’s the right thing to do for our business and for the planet,” co-founder Nicolas Jammet articulated. “With the food system driving 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the time for change is now. We know that real change doesn’t happen overnight - it’s all the steps in between, the little moments that can lead to a big impact. That’s why we’re making this commitment."
Alongside Watershed, Sweetgreen reviewed its current emission levels and developed a plan to successfully reach carbon neutrality by 2027. The company plans to enhance its sustainable sourcing of ingredients and revamp its menu. The menu is not the only thing that it plans to change: The company hopes to maximize its environment-friendly efforts by investing in clean energy.
“Sweetgreen is working across every element of the food system–how food is grown on farms, transported to customers, and consumed in restaurants–to cut emissions,” Watershed co-founder Taylor Francis said. “Sweetgreen's menu is already 30 percent less carbon-intensive than the average U.S. diet, and their commitment to decrease their greenhouse gas intensity by 50 percent and become carbon neutral is setting a new bar for the industry.”
For sustainable sourcing, the company assessed its suppliers to see how they handle products and farming. Sweetgreen used this information to accurately figure the carbon footprint for its menu items. This data will help curate a new menu that is both sustainable and heading towards total carbon neutrality. The emission tool will push the company to release more fully plant-powered salads and bolster its sustainable ingredients, leading to a healthier menu for the consumer and the earth.
Sweetgreen currently has 107 locations nationwide with big plans to continue expanding, while keeping carbon emissions in mind. The assessment will ensure that its resource pipelines optimize the building materials and the construction itself. The next step for the brand will be investing in clean energy, taking its focus on health beyond the plate and turning the attention towards the environment.
For the health-food giant, this vocal promise signifies a change in the industry that competitors will hear and move to reassess their own operations. Sweetgreen’s path towards sustainability is the latest step of its mission which seeks to connect consumers to real food and the planet. By working alongside Watershed, Sweetgreen is paving the way for a new, plant-friendly restaurant formula that will only gain in popularity.