Will Restaurants Lead the Climate Change Charge?

The Lempert Report
May 20, 2016

Becoming carbon neutral is becoming the new standard for foodservice.

Zero Foodprint is a new nonprofit organization helping restaurants reduce their carbon footprint. Anthony Myint, a restaurateur and Chris Ying a journalist got together to form the group in order to highlight the impact on the environment that restaurants have and develop actionable guidelines to help solve the problem. 

Here are two examples: 

  • Adding a 25-cent charge on a beef dish in order to offset that meal's higher carbon footprint.
  • Switching from a coal-burning utility company to a renewable energy source

But there is more, Zero Foodprint also wants to educate consumers. Myint tells SF Eater, "I don't think the general public has that sort of internal calculation [that helps them understand] the carbon footprint of ingredients and foods." He says that by simply ordering a fried chicken sandwich over a burger reduces the carbon footprint by three or four times.   

And it looks like their efforts are working. Their first two clients Noma a restaurant located in Copenhagen, Denmark and San Francisco's Mission Chinese Food have been brought to a carbon neutral baseline.

Once again we see foodservice leading the trends. Perhaps its time for supermarkets and their grocerants to follow suit.