The nation’s restaurant industry impacts 1/10th of the American economy and is the largest consumer of electricity in the retail sector. Announced today by executives of the Green Restaurant Association (GRA), The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® is the largest multi-unit nationally recognized chain in the nation to become Certified Green Restaurants™ by the GRA.

“Not only will The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® environmental accomplishments have a great impact, but the fact that they are the first chain of their size to become Certified Green Restaurants™ will demonstrate to the industry at large that becoming environmentally sustainable is not only the right thing to do, but that it makes business sense,” said Michael Oshman, Executive Director, Green Restaurant Association. “The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has implemented 8 important environmental steps and will implement 16 more over the next four years. There are 935,000 fast food, coffee houses and restaurants nationwide. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® should really be held up as an example as a forward thinking company making a difference one location at a time for the greater good of our environment.”

As a Certified Green Restaurant™, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has already committed to the following steps in all of its 200 domestic company-owned locations:

1. Recycling in all stores possible.

2. Installed Energy and Water Efficient Spray Valves.

3. Installed Low Mercury High Efficiency Lighting.

4. Implemented a reuse policy to cut down on paper cup use.

Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, the Green Restaurant Association helps restaurants and other foodservice entities become environmentally sustainable by implementing four steps per year in eleven environmental categories, including energy, water, food, and chemicals. Founded in 1963 in Los Angeles, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® is the oldest and largest privately-held chain of specialty coffee stores in the United States. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® piloted “green” in 2003 at all their San Diego locations. April 1, their 200 US locations will become Certified Green Restaurants™.

“We are proud to be the biggest retail chain in the country to implement ‘green’ on a large-scale in our stores,“ said Tami Clark, vice president of marketing & strategic alliances for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®. “Our hope is that others will become inspired and follow suit to help our environment.”