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Chipotle’s Real Foodprint Tracks Sustainability Impact of Menu Items

Guests ordering on the Chipotle app and Chipotle.com now get a first-of-its-kind look into the brand’s sourcing efforts, down to the ingredient — and can track how Chipotle reduces its environmental impacts.

Conscientious foodies looking for a quick, sustainable bite now have more options than ever — last month, Just Salad began carbon-labeling its menu items, to allow diners to make more discerning choices; and since earlier this month, more than half of Panera’s menu now sports WRI’s “Cool Food Meals” badge, which identifies dishes with a lower carbon footprint.

This week, Chipotle Mexican Grill joined the movement with the launch of its Real Foodprint — a sustainability impact tracker that compares average values for each of Chipotle’s 53 real ingredients to their conventional counterparts, against five key metrics:

  • Less carbon in the atmosphere (measured in grams)

  • Gallons of water saved

  • Influencing sustainable consumer behaviors ... how's that going?

    Read the latest Sociocultural Trend Tracker research from our Brands for Good collaboratory and The Harris Poll — which examines consumer progress in adopting more sustainable behaviors, as well as brand trust scores during this unprecedented confluence of societal crises.

    Improved soil health (measured in sq feet)

  • Organic land supported (measured in sq feet)

  • Antibiotics avoided (measured in milligrams)

By providing detailed impact data about its ingredients for guests, the brand is holding itself accountable for furthering its mission to "cultivate a better world."

“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,” said Caitlin Leibert, Head of Sustainability at Chipotle. “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. It is the combination of transparency for our guests and Chipotle’s commitment to higher standards that make Real Foodprint so impactful.”

Hear Bill Nye the Science Guy explain a little further:

Chipotle has teamed up with Nye to demonstrate how Real Foodprint works. In his latest TikTok video, the Science Guy explores the environmental savings data computed for his favorite Chipotle order — a burrito bowl with white rice, black beans, chicken, roasted chili-corn salsa, and Queso Blanco. Bill Nye’s burrito bowl is now available in the Chipotle app and Chipotle.com for a limited time. 

Metrics for Real Foodprint are provided by HowGood — a mission-driven, independent research company with the world’s largest sustainability database for products and ingredients. HowGood aggregates information from Chipotle’s suppliers and over 450 unique data sources — including peer-reviewed scientific literature, industry findings, and research from government and non-governmental organizations — to evaluate the average impact of Chipotle’s 53 real ingredients on the environment and animal welfare. Chipotle is the first restaurant brand to partner with HowGood.

“Having worked with top global brands across the industry, we are particularly excited about Chipotle’s approach to providing a truly comprehensive view of ingredient impact,” said HowGood CEO Alexander Gillett. “We're optimistic that their trailblazing could set a new tone for radical transparency, and excited to have partnered with them to provide the level of granular, exhaustive data they are committed to using.”

While Real Foodprint information is only available now for diners ordering digitally, Chipotle says more updates to the Real Foodprint platform will be made through the end of 2020.

Learn more about Chipotle’s Real Foodprint and the metrics involved here.

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