As Earth Day 2005 approaches, Los Angeles-based The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® is proud to announce its substantial growth from 28 Certified Green Restaurant™ stores in August of last year to more than 60 stores now working with the national Green Restaurant Association (GRA). By partnering with the GRA, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf continues to establish recycling programs and more efficient waste management and energy usage systems in its Los Angeles and San Diego retail locations. The GRA has introduced eco-friendly paper products and installed water and energy saving spray valves into over 40 The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stores thus far, with more to follow in the coming months.

The GRA states in a recent newsletter, “The Coffee Bean stores are not only making important environmental changes, they are also creating a precedent for the whole industry to become environmentally sustainable.” The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stores have also committed to integrating green product procurement and using safer cleaning products.

“Because the restaurant industry represents 10 percent of the American economy and is the largest electricity consumer in the retail sector, achieving energy efficiency in this industry is vital to America’s well being,” says Michael J. Oshman, president, Green Restaurant Association. “I applaud The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf for paving the way and implementing such important steps.”

The Green Restaurant Association, a national non-profit with the mission to create an ecologically sustainable restaurant industry, has a certification model that helps all sectors of the restaurant industry become more environmentally sustainable. In becoming certified, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf committed to four key steps:

1. Implementing a comprehensive recycling system

2. Integrating water- and energy-efficient equipment

3. Introducing non-toxic cleaning supplies

4. Conducting an energy-efficient lighting overhaul