Chipotle Opens New Renewable Energy-Powered Restaurants

chipotle interior
Chipotle says these new locations will use “100% renewable energy from wind power and solar through the purchase of certified renewable energy credits.”

Chipotle Mexican Grill has revealed its new all-electric restaurants fueled by 100% renewable energy. The sustainable design has already been rolled out at Gloucester, Virginia, and Jacksonville, Florida locations, with plans to open another in Castle Rock, Colorado this summer. 

The restaurant says these locations will utilize “100% renewable energy from wind power and solar through the purchase of certified renewable energy credits.” 

The news comes alongside Chipotle’s release of a short film, "Human Nature,” that explores the relationship between people, their food, and the environment. The fast-casual restaurant chain has broad ambitions to drastically reduce its carbon footprint and plans to have more than 100 of its new locations in 2024 using all-electric equipment or at least a handful of their new, sustainable elements. 

These include rooftop solar panels, heat pump water heaters, biodegradable service ware, cactus leather chairs, artwork made from recycled rice husks, and even electric vehicle charging stations at certain locations. One of the more significant switches will be the move from gas-powered grills to electric cooking systems. 

“With our aggressive development goal in North America, we hold ourselves accountable to reduce the environmental impact of our restaurants,” said Laurie Schalow, chief corporate affairs officer at Chipotle. “We are aiming to incorporate some elements of our responsible restaurant design into many of our new restaurant openings going forward."

    Chipotle's Broader Sustainability Goals
    • To standardize energy management systems at every restaurant, to manage heating and cooling, refrigeration temperatures, and other equipment.
    • To look into more extensive use of low carbon fuels and adoption of renewable resources in logistics.
    • To invest in projects that drive emission reductions in beef and dairy production.
    • To explore and develop strategies to support greater adoption of regenerative agriculture practices among supply chain partners.
    • To build out vegetarian and vegan menu options. 
    • To increase the amount of local produce purchased in 2023 to a planned total of at least 36.4 million pounds.

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