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New restaurant chain puts carbon footprinting on the menu

Greenwise Staff
26th April 2010
A new international restaurant chain that is set to open outlets in London later this year is making carbon footprinting the centerpiece of its menu.

Otarian
is a quick service vegetarian restaurant chain owned by the Oswal Group Global. The company opened its first outlet in New York last week. It claims to be the first global restaurant chain to carbon footprint every menu item to internationally recognised standards.

The restaurant chain is set to open London outlets located on Wardour Street and Shaftesbury Avenue in June, with a further one on Regent Street set to open later this year.

Each item on the menu has had its 'cradle to grave’ carbon footprint calculated – from sourcing the raw materials for each ingredient right through to disposal of the product. The calculations were performed according to PAS 2050, the UK Government’s carbon footprint specification.

'Carbon Saving Combos' save 3kg of CO2
One of the key aims of the restaurant, according to its owners, is to highlight the environmental benefits of reducing meat consumption, so the carbon footprint of each menu item appears alongside the footprint of a comparable meat dish. For example, the 'Carbon Saving Combos’ set meals save at least three kilograms of carbon dioxide compared to equivalent meat-based dishes, the company said.

"Vegetarianism is the most sustainable and environmentally conscious way of eating and being," said Otarian founder Radhika Oswal. "Vegetarian foods have a lighter ecological footprint, reduced water impacts and lower carbon emissions than non-vegetarian equivalents."

Otarian hired carbon reduction company Sustain to measure the carbon footprints of its menu items, which worked with food sustainability consultancy Eat England to carry out the 'cradle to grave’ assessment.

Dr Jean-Yves Cherruault, environmental accounting manager at Sustain, said Otarian was now leading the way in the restaurant industry on improving the environmental impact of the supply chain and helping consumers measure the footprint of food.

"The carbon footprint assessment was instrumental in encouraging engagement with suppliers and identifying ways of reducing greenhouse gases from the menu. This hopefully marks the start of a new way of doing things for the restaurant industry," he said.

Otarian to take part in new carbon footprinting standard pilot
pilot Following the carbon footprinting of its menu, Otarian has been selected by environmental think tank the World Resources Institute (WRI) as one of 60 businesses to test a new standard set to become the most widely accepted international carbon footprinting standard.

Sustain said it would provide technical help to Otarian throughout the pilot phase of the standard.

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Related links:
www.otarian.com




New restaurant chain puts carbon footprinting on the menu
Carbon footprinting menu debuts in Otarian's first restaurant in New York
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