Le Botaniste, an organic, plant-based restaurant is now the only carbon-neutral restaurant in New York City. This is the result of a partnership since 2016 with environmental consulting agency CO2logic. They helped Le Botaniste reduce energy use to a minimum and offset greenhouse gas emissions, as well as friendly to the planet in the foods they serve.
To become certified carbon neutral requires a lot of research. CO2logic first calculated the greenhouse gas emissions generated not just by the restaurant but by each recipe. The organization used data from a French environmental organization to determine the carbon footprint of each of Le Botaniste’s organic vegetables, grains and other ingredients they use in their dishes.
Then, they calculated electricity consumption and the carbon footprint of paper goods and other supplies used in the restaurants to give an overall look at the environmental impact of the entire supply chain. This means local and global impact, from sustainable farming for sourcing their foods to the compostable containers they use for takeout.
You can even see the carbon calculations on display online. They are updated every year. They also offset by financing a climate project in Ghana for distributing efficient cookstoves that is Gold Standard Certified.
This is a very detailed take on the idea of becoming a carbon-neutral business. Other businesses who don’t want to go through the process of certification could still take some ideas from this process and apply them more generally. For example, any business can try to source as much of its electricity from clean energy sources through the utility company as possible, install solar panels or rent from a building that is as environmentally efficient as possible. In addition, choosing suppliers that help them use recycled paper products, reduce waste or finance environmental programs to offset carbon used like tree planting programs.
Le Botaniste took eco-friendly to the next level. It’ll be interesting to see how this level of detail raises new questions about a business’ ability to reduce its carbon footprint.
Soon, every business from restaurants to tech companies will have the resources for making a positive one overall. One that is greener and healthier for all.
Images via Le Botaniste