BOSTONóIn another move towards its long-term goal of running near-zero waste restaurants, Boloco, New Englandís locally-owned 13-unit inspired burritos restaurant group, announces their use of 100% compostable bamboo bowls.
Every person who tested these bowls had a smile on their face ñ theyíre perfect. They are shaped like our burritos and more importantly help us to reduce waste from the restaurants by being compostable,î said John Pepper, CEO and one of Bolocoís founders. ìAnd if youíre watching your calories, the bamboo bowls shave a few hundred versus a tortilla while still filling you with the naturally-raised meats and other fresh, highest-quality ingredients people have come to expect from us.î
The move toward compostable bowls follows other green-friendly initiatives at Boloco, including the introduction last winter of smoothie cups made of cornóalso 100% compostable. Boloco has a goal to become a near-zero waste restaurant chain by eliminating plastics where it can, recycling where it canít and composting everything else.
ìRestaurants generate an embarrassing amount of trash,î said Mike Harder, President and COO. ìWhile we realize that this latest move isnít itself going to change the world, itís another small yet meaningful step. It replaces a huge piece of plastic that, while able to be recycled at the restaurant, often ended up in peopleís trash when they got back to the office.î
To encourage a test drive of the new bamboo bowls, Boloco gave each of its 9,600 registered and opted-in loyalty card members a complimentary burrito in a bowl.
About Boloco: The heart of the Boloco menu is the inspired burrito. Bolocoís fun spin on the traditional Mexican staple has satisfied taste buds since 1997 (originally founded as The Wrap). Currently operating 13 restaurants around New England, it plans to open an additional 4 restaurants by early 2009. Boloco is the first restaurant chain in New England to be certified green by the Green restaurant Association.
Boloco’s 13 locations become first fast-casual chain in New England to become Certified Green RestaurantsTM
Boston, MA – Boloco’s 13 locations became Certified Green Restaurants™ on March 4, 2008, becoming the first quick-casual chain in New England to meet this environmental mark. Leading the eco-friendly charge, Boloco achieved certification of green status upon implementation of environmentally friendly practices in accordance with the Green Restaurant Association’s rigorous guidelines.
“We realize this won’t change the world overnight”, says John Pepper, Boloco CEO and co-founder, “but we are absolutely sure that these latest efforts are meaningful steps towards what will one day be considered ground-breaking improvements in how our restaurants interact with the environment. Just as importantly, our teams have enjoyed every bit of this process, which in itself makes our relationship with the GRA well worth the investment of time and dollars.”
As part of the initial certification phase, Boloco took four steps in an effort to reduce its environmental footprint and increase sustainable practices including:
- Implementation of a comprehensive recycling program.
- Introducing naturally-raised beef, pork and chicken. The pork is certified humane, the beef is grass-fed and free of hormones and antibiotics; and the chicken is vegetarian fed, cage-free and not given added growth hormones or antibiotics.
- Organic t-shirts for over 300 employees
- Replacing Styrofoam smoothie cups with compostable cups.
Boloco will continue to meet the marks provided by the Green Restaurant Association by implementing four new environmental steps per year. Near term priorities include more energy efficient lighting and near-zero waste composting.
The Green Restaurant Association assesses each restaurant’s existing sustainable practices and then creates an individually-tailored plan to guide each establishment to become a Certified Green Restaurant™. “Boloco first reached out to the GRA over 5 years ago with a genuine interest in discovering new ways to improve how its restaurants impact the environment,” says Michael Oshman, executive director of the Green Restaurant Association. “In the past year since formally signing on with the GRA we’ve been impressed with their commitment and ability to execute the steps. We are looking forward to helping them make new changes in the subsequent years.”
About Boloco: Boloco is a Boston-based group of 13 restaurants that serve traditional and inspired burritos, bowls, salads and smoothies using a blend of pleasantly unexpected ingredients. Every order is made to the specific wishes of each customer. The communities served by Boloco include Boston, Brighton, Somerville, Cambridge, Medford, and Natick in Massachusetts as well as Hanover, NH.
Green Restaurant Association: The Green Restaurant Association (GRA), a national non-profit organization was founded in 1990 to help the restaurant industry achieve ecological sustainability. The GRA is endorsed by America’s major environmental organizations and works with restaurants across the continent. Through its eleven environmental guidelines, the GRA provides environmental consulting, education, and certification to make it easy for individual operators, restaurant groups, and chains to improve their environmental practices in a profitable manner.
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