Chipotle Mexican Grill will open a green restaurant in Gurnee, Illinois with a 6-kilowatt wind turbine on-site that will generate a portion of the restaurant’s electrical needs. “The wind turbine is a symbol of our intent to design and build our restaurants more efficiently and environmentally friendly,” Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO of Chipotle said. “We want to incorporate some elements of sustainable design into all of our new restaurants.”
In addition to the wind turbine which will generate about 10 percent of the restaurant’s electrical power, the free-standing restaurant will feature: use of recycled drywall, recycled barn metal, and primers and paints that contain fewer chemicals; a variety of energy and water conservation elements inside the restaurant, including LED lighting, highly efficient faucets and toilets, and Energy Star rated kitchen equipment; a 2,500-gallon underground water cistern that will harvest rainwater to irrigate the landscape; native plants outside that will require less watering and fertilizer; and asphalt in the parking lot that will reflect the sun’s heat, rather than absorb it, making the entire site cooler.
Chipotle will seek LEED certification for the new restaurant, which would make it among the first LEED-certified restaurants in the country. Chipotle is a participant in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Retail pilot program. Chipotle is also seeking LEED for Retail certification for a Minnetonka, Minnesota restaurant that is part of a pre-existing building and shopping center. That restaurant will include energy efficient plumbing, lighting, and other green initiatives. Chipotle also operates two green restaurants in Austin, Texas (certified by the city of Austin).