sweetgreen, the seasonal restaurant with the mission of connecting people to real food, announces its plan to be carbon neutral by 2027.
“Simply put, we believe it’s the right thing to do for our business and for the planet. With the food system driving 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the time for change is now,” says Nicolas Jammet, co-founder and Chief Concept Officer of sweetgreen. “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.”
Together with Watershed, the climate company helping businesses measure their carbon footprint, sweetgreen surveyed its emission output across every touchpoint of its business and developed an action plan to reach carbon neutrality.
sweetgreen plans to reach its six-year goal by first cutting its carbon intensity in half through sustainable sourcing decisions and menu development, optimizing how they build restaurants, and investing in clean energy. After reducing as much as possible, they’ll then put resources towards instating meaningful offsets, all toward the goal of carbon neutrality. The first steps in sweetgreen’s carbon reduction plans include the following:
- Sustainable Sourcing: sweetgreen commissioned carbon assessments of some of its specific suppliers to look at the fine print, like how much feed they use and how they handle manure. This helped sweetgreen calculate an accurate carbon footprint for each of its menu items. sweetgreen will use this data to guide future sourcing decisions.
- Menu Development: sweetgreen will use emissions as a tool for menu evaluation and a catalyst for introducing even more plant-powered salads and soil-friendly ingredients like regenerative kelp and the cover crop sorghum to the menu roster. Additionally, they’ll continue to work closely with poultry and cheese suppliers to implement new strategies for carbon minimization.
- Building Restaurants: sweetgreen is conducting an extensive assessment of the entire resource and development pipeline, but priority initiatives are optimizing building materials from construction to furniture, investing in clean energy, and double clicking into more granular decisions around things like equipment and refrigeration.
“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,” said Taylor Francis, co-founder of Watershed. “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.”
Sweetgreen’s continued sustainability journey is central to its mission of connecting people to real food. As the company works alongside its farmers and partners to achieve their goals, sweetgreen is committed to sharing their progress.