Chipotle Sustainability Report Says it Achieved 51% of its Waste Diversion Goals

Image via Chipotle

Chipotle also plans to release another plant-based protein by the end of 2021, according to the newly released sustainability report

Popular restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill has announced the publication of its 2020 Sustainability Report, which shows the brand achieving a 51% waste diversion rate through recycling, composting, and waste-to-energy programs. This markes the accomplishment of a key goal outlined in its 2018 Sustainability Report.

“Keeping half of all the waste we produce out of the landfill is an extraordinary achievement, particularly for an organization of our scale.”

Sustainability programs include its GLOVE TO BAGS program, an initiative that transforms used plastic gloves into trash bags in partnership with Revolution Bag, and the Chipotle Goods AVOCADO DYE LINE, an open-looped collection of Chipotle apparel dyed with upcycled avocado pits from Chipotle restaurants.

“Sustainability is and always will be a strategic priority for Chipotle,” said Brian Niccol, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Chipotle. “I, along with the rest of the organization, strongly believe that how we grow our food is how we grow our future.”

Highlights from Chipotle’s 2020 Sustainability Report include:

Food & Animals

  • Purchased more than 28.1 million pounds of organic and transitional ingredients
  • Purchased more than 31 million pounds of local produce – an investment of more than $23.3 million into local food systems
  • Committed $5 million to young farmers over five years

New Goals

  • Partner with Chipotle growers to convert more than 400 acres of conventional farmland to organic farmland via transitional growing methods by 2025
  • Purchase more than 37 million pounds of produce from local farmers through its Local Growers Program in 2021


  • Donated more than $5 million to local community organizations through 26,000 fundraisers in its restaurants
  • Promoted 13,689 employees at all levels
  • Offered industry-leading, debt-free degrees in business for employees and recently expanded the program to include Culinary, Hospitality and Agriculture majors

New Goals

  • Launch Emerging Leader and Mentoring programs aimed at ensuring Chipotle has a diverse slate of ‘ready now’ internal talent for critical roles within the organization by year-end 2021
  • Develop a robust Minority Supplier Development program where Chipotle will continue to identify opportunities for minority owned businesses to increase access to its sourcing opportunities by year-end 2021 and develop a method to measure the amount paid annually to minority-owned businesses by year-end 2022


  • Achieved a 51% landfill diversion rate at its restaurants through recycling, composting, and waste-to-energy programs
  • 100% of new restaurant openings participated in Chipotle’s Harvest Program, which donates excess food to local food banks
  • Saved an estimated 65,582,000 kWh of energy, the emissions equivalent of 10,000 passenger vehicles driven for one year or 5,300 homes powered for one year
  • Launched REAL FOODPRINT, a sustainability educational tool that compares average impact values for each of Chipotle’s real ingredients to their conventional counterparts
  • Upcycled more than 60,000 avocado pits into natural clothing dye as part of the Chipotle Goods line

New Goals

  • Reduce overall waste by 5% by 2025, as compared to a 2020 baseline
  • Pilot at least one innovative new packaging design that reduces plastic in 2021

“Keeping half of all the waste we produce out of the landfill is an extraordinary achievement, particularly for an organization of our scale,” said Caitlin Leibert, Head of Sustainability. “We are dedicated to doing the work it takes to be a leader in this space and passionate about continuously innovating solutions to some of the biggest challenges of our time.”

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