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.

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Left to right: An interior of a restaurant with metal benches and tables on a checkered black and white tile floor. On the right is a woman sitting on a metal stool

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.

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A bowl of vegetables with an orange drink beside it on a teal placemate

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.

Left to right: A wooden shelf filled with kitchenware. On the right is the outside of the restaurant with a table and benches

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.

A spread of food and drinks

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.

A woman looking off to the side sitting on a table with checkered floors. The photo on the right is interior of the restaurant featuring black and white tiles

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.

Different bowls of dips and utensils for picking them up

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.

+ Le Botaniste

Images via Le Botaniste