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“Part of changing the way the world thinks about and eats fast food is designing and building restaurants in more environmentally friendly ways,” says Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. “Our team worked hard to ensure that sustainable elements that made sense for this location were seamlessly incorporated into the design of the restaurant, while still giving it the iconic look of a Chipotle.”
The Gurnee Chipotle restaurant opened in the fall of 2008 and was designed to achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water, and material use. The planning and construction process was managed by Chipotle in conjunction with the USGBC.
“Chipotle’s commitment to the LEED certification process has demonstrated a passionate commitment to green building leadership,” says Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO, and founding chair of the USGBC. “The project’s effective use of natural resources and sustainable design elements serve as a model for other LEED for Retail projects, and Chipotle has become a driving force in the green building movement.”
In addition to a variety of recycled building materials and environmentally friendly systems, the Gurnee restaurant includes a six-kilowatt wind turbine that generates a portion of the restaurant’s energy on site, as well as a 2,500-gallon underground water cistern that harvests rainwater to irrigate the landscape.
Chipotle has designed and built other restaurants in Minneapolis and Long Island, New York, to comply with LEED certification standards and is awaiting final certifications on those projects.