Swedish fast food chain Max Burgers (MAX) made headlines around a decade ago when it started labeling menu items with carbon footprints. Now, the company is launching what it describes as climate-positive burgers. MAX says it plants trees to absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than the total emissions of its products. MAX CEO Richard Bergfors said in a statement, “We know that we are part of the problem and together with our guests, we can now be part of the solution.”
Climate-positive burgers will pop up this month in just over 130 restaurants around the world — MAX, founded in 1968 in Sweden, now boasts joints in Norway, Denmark, Poland, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt. Here’s how the company plans to make its menu offerings good for the environment. First, it measures all product emissions, including waste from meals and emissions generated when employees and guests travel to and from MAX restaurants. The company then works in various ways to lower emissions, such as recycling frying oil into biodiesel, recycling heat in restaurants and introducing a Green Family of burgers made with vegetables, beans or Halloumi cheese. Finally, MAX says it captures at least 110 percent of its emissions by planting trees.
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“The reasoning behind the launch of climate-positive burgers is simple: climate change on our planet is out of control, and we need to stabilize it,” Bergfors said. “To meet the two-degree climate goal set out in the Paris Agreement, the world needs to work harder at cutting emissions and start the work of clearing greenhouse gases that have already been emitted into the atmosphere. Just going carbon neutral is not enough anymore.”
One out of three of MAX meals sold today don’t have red meat, according to the company, and the goal is that by 2022, every other meal won’t have red meat. The chain thinks that hitting this target could allow it to reduce emissions by 30 percent in seven years.
MAX is also behind an initiative called Clipop, with New Zealand car-sharing company Mevo, to register climate positive products from around the world. The team hopes more companies will get on board.
Images courtesy of Max Burgers