Chipotle on Tuesday unveiled a new sustainability campaign and creative expression, including a short film dubbed “Human Nature.” But central and most visible to the brand’s go-forward approach is an all-electric, redesigned restaurant that uses 100 percent renewable energy from wind power and solar through the purchase of certified renewable energy credits. 

Chipotle recently opened units with the new features in Gloucester, Virginia, and Jacksonville, Florida, with a third on deck for summer, in Castle Rock, Colorado. 

The brand said it plans to have more than 100 of its new locations in 2024 deploy all-electric equipment and “at least some additional elements” from the reimagined design. It will continue to innovate and iterate as it gains operational feedback and insights, the company added.

Chipotle noted the model would achieve some broader goals, established in alignment with Science Based Targets initiative, to reduce direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions 50 percent by 2030 compared to a 2019 baseline.

Called Chipotle’s “Responsible Restaurant,” the build includes:

  • Rooftop solar panels, where feasible
  • All-electric equipment and systems to replace gas power
  • Heat pump water heaters
  • Smaller electric cookline and improved exhaust hoods compared to other Chipotle kitchens
  • Energy management systems (which have already been deployed in most existing restaurant locations)
  • Biodegradable service ware such as cutlery, straws, bowls, cups, and lids
  • Cactus leather chairs
  • Artwork made from recycled rice husks
  • Electric vehicle charging stations at select locations


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“With our aggressive development goal in North America, we hold ourselves accountable to reduce the environmental impact of our restaurants,” Laurie Schalow, Chipotle’s chief corporate affairs officer, said in a statement. “We are aiming to incorporate some elements of our responsible restaurant design into many of our new restaurant openings going forward.”

To get to Chipotle’s 2023 aim, it also plans to implement a variety of efforts:

  • Standardizing the installation of energy management systems at every restaurant to manage heating and cooling, refrigeration temperatures, and other equipment.
  • Exploring greater use of low carbon fuels and adoption of renewable resources in logistics.
  • Investing in projects to drive emission reductions in beef and dairy production.
  • Exploring and developing strategies to support greater adoption of regenerative agriculture practices among supply chain partners.
  • Developing plans for offering additional vegetarian and vegan menu items.
  • Increasing the amount of local produce purchased in 2023 to a planned total of at least 36.4 million pounds.


Chipotle’s “Human Nature” short film will air as a national TV ad. Created by Anomaly, it showcases shots of humans and nature and spotlights their “aesthetic similarities while conveying the importance of individuals reconnecting physically and emotionally with the environment.”

“Since its founding in 1993, Chipotle’s mindset and approach to food has always been about working with—not against—nature and using real ingredients free of any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives,” added Chris Brandt, Chipotle’s CMO. 


“Human Nature celebrates how Chipotle serves food that is both good for you and better for the planet. Strengthening our connection with nature is key to producing responsibly raised food for generations to come.”

Fast Casual, Growth, Operations, Story, Sustainability, Chipotle