2024 KCP Application
ZeroFoodprint (Trust for Conservation Innovation)
Customers & Partnerships
Project Summary / Description:
Many restaurants and diners have embraced organic, local, and sustainably raised ingredients, but still, our founders, who made their living off of preparing, serving, and writing about food, asked themselves, Is dining out really one of the worst things we can do for the environment? After quite a journey, they learned that the answer is no. It may be difficult to measure the overall sustainability of a meal, but we can assess its greenhouse gas emissions and, by proxy, restaurants role in global warming. Armed with this knowledge and a bit of investment, restaurants can reduce their emissions and through responsible offsetting, neutralize their carbon footprint. ZeroFoodprint aims to make a virtue of carbon neutrality. In partnership with a charter group of world-class restaurants representing a cross-section of restaurants, ZeroFoodprint hopes to establish a robust market for responsible dining, with the hope of initiating an industry-wide shift in practices. After piloting the assessment process for 3 years, ZFP now has 15 restaurant members. Over 100 have gone carbon neutral for our Earth Day campaign. In 2017 we organized the participation of over 100 restaurants, including 10 of the top 100 restaurants in the world. With a new simplified, lower cost assessment strategy, we are ready to scale up. The Climate Action Summit to be held in San Francisco this September gives us the platform we need to dramatically increase our numbers, and provide proof of concept to visiting dignitaries and business leaders from around the world.
Regions of Operations:
Best Estimate of GHG Avoidance/Reduction of This Project (Tonnes CO2 Equivalent/Year):
Research or Economic Modeling
Measurement, Reporting & Validation
Zero Foodprint is committed to reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide by educating restaurants on operational strategies and creating a marketing platform for recognizing their contributions to food-related carbon offset projects. Our greatest strength is access to the world‚ actual best chefs as ambassadors helping to establish the category of carbon neutral dining. Restaurants occupy a significant economic portion of the entire food system and while the industry is infamous for small margins, there is also a countervailing trend of price insensitivity in re: celebrity chefs and/or trendy food. In other words, people will wait in line and/or pay an extra dollar for fetishized items and to varying degrees, it thus becomes possible to roll a voluntary carbon tax into many operations. Furthermore, restaurants are very agile in terms of menu design, pricing, marketing, etc. and so will be able to normalize cultural reform in a short time. Many restaurants and chefs already aspire towards sustainability in the form of local, organic, sustainably harvested products, but the broader story of the relationship between food and climate change is relatively unexplored. ZFP‚ theory of change is that for pennies per diner, a restaurant can make a very legible impact, in aggregate, alongside self-education and operational adjustments.