Just Salad released its inaugural sustainability report, outlining its 2019 accomplishments and initiatives for 2020 and beyond.

In 2019, Just Salad diverted 75,000 pounds of single-use plastic from landfills through the company’s reusable bowl program, which allows guests to purchase a reusable bowl for $1 and receive a free topping (like avocado) with every reuse. The company saw 133% year over year growth in reusable bowl usage, demonstrating not only the consumer’s willingness to participate, but their commitment to reducing their own plastic waste. Just Salad’s reusable bowl program – introduced at the company’s very first location in 2006—is the world’s largest and longest-running restaurant reusable program.

Just Salad also established its Green Standard Initiative, a set of waste reduction commitments that will help the company attain its goal of sending zero waste to landfill by 2022. Initiatives under the Green Standard umbrella include replacing single-use plastic salad bowls with compostable fiber bowls; replacing grass-fed steak with Beyond Beef meatballs; and implementing bag-less pickup and checkout at the majority of locations. Most recently, the company tested sustainably sourced compostable wooden forks for delivery and catering customers, and is in the process of implementing a 360-degree organic composting program by separating food waste in its kitchens and serving areas.  In 2019, Just Salad reduced landfill-bound kitchen waste by 77% through its food waste separation program.

“Our goal is to lead a paradigm shift in the fast casual industry,” says Sandra Noonan, Chief Sustainability Officer at Just Salad. “It’s all about giving our guests convenient ways to not only eat healthy but reduce their environmental impact. At Just Salad, we believe changes in the restaurant industry will create waves of improvement worldwide.”

The company has a number of initiatives in the pipeline, including but not limited to:

  • Expanding its food waste separation program to front of house
  • Launching a Sustainability Champions program
  • Testing compostable wooden forks as an alternative to bioplastics, which are not composted at the majority of composting facilities
  • Launching a Bring Your Own Cup program

Just Salad’s goal is to divert 100,000 pounds of single-use plastic from landfills annually, and are committed to using reusable options wherever possible, favoring disposable packing that is genuinely recyclable or compostable, as well as developing a 360-degree compostable program at all NYC locations.

In 2019, the company received the Proggy Award from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) for promoting compassion for animals by replacing all beef on its menu with Beyond Beef, as well as the Ocean Champion badge from Oceanic Global for adopting a holistic approach to sustainable operating practices. Just Salad has also partnered with Earth Day Initiative and is a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waste Wise program, where it has committed to a 5% increase in waste diversion annually.

“Sustainability is not just a trend; it’s imperative that we find ways as an industry to reduce our footprint and to become a part of the solution in reducing our environmental impact,” says Nick Kenner, founder and CEO of Just Salad. “We look forward to sharing more on our initiatives in the years to come.”

Fast Casual, News, Just Salad