We work with restaurants to make smart, non-intrusive improvements that can reduce their climate impact and improve their supply chains. We focus on both restoration and conservation.
We know not everyone can shop at the farmer’s market, so unlike typical efforts focused solely on improved sourcing, we focus on actively transitioning your existing supply chain or local foodshed toward climate beneficial farming practices. In essence, we are confident that the most direct way to improve the food system is to actually improve the acres and producers you currently work with.
On the conservation front, many operational improvements end up saving the restaurants money on utility bills or reducing food waste. But even the most efficient restaurants still have a carbon footprint. ZeroFoodprint supports a number of food-related carbon-reduction projects around the world to offset the remaining emissions
Offsets, also known as carbon credits, are created when a carbon project—an activity aimed specifically at reducing greenhouse gases—proves to a group of scientists that they are keeping harmful gas from entering the atmosphere. The project can then sell that credit (measured in tonnes of carbon avoided) to fund their project. In other words, credits make the carbon-project world go round. Without the revenue from the sale of the credits, the project would not be financially viable. Offsets are the best tool we have to address unavoidable emissions and help a conscientious operator overcome logistical barriers and create public benefit. You can think of this like funding the transition to renewable energy as a legitimate way to “improve the grid” even if one cannot install solar panels.
ZeroFoodprint restaurants support a number of food-related carbon-reduction projects around the world. We aim to drive funding toward regenerative agriculture, recognizing that food is a part of our climate problem, but also a part of the solution. Carbon farming is not an ideal fit for the carbon offset market, since the soil carbon monitoring and verification technologies are still prohibitively expensive. ZFP is working with soil scientists, climate experts and farmland conservation experts to create a private sector complement to the State of California’s Healthy Soils Program.
As part of this effort to align food and farming with climate solutions, ZeroFoodprint is working with the State of CA to help the state achieve it’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2045. This necessarily involves creating a renewable food system to fund the transition to sustainable farming practices on millions of acres of land. The good news is that soil scientists, bio-geo-chemists, farmers, ranchers are all converging on solutions. And our research on the restaurant industry, coupled with information from climate scientists and economists suggests that 1% is what it takes for most restaurants to “do their part” and for society at large to reverse global warming. Funds from all Zero Foodprint restaurants will be going toward these global restoration efforts.
Partnership with Cool Effect
We are proud to have partnered with Cool Effect to source our carbon credits. Cool Effect does carbon correctly. Their scientists have independently vetted over 1,000 projects to find the ones they offer on their site. A nonprofit, Cool Effect is transparent about everything you might want to know—the project’s price, the science, the challenges the project faces along with its benefits. They also routinely answer questions about these projects from scientists and non-scientists alike. They present all this information as clearly and transparently as possible. For example, they let you know that 90.13% goes directly to the projects and then give you the breakdown of their 9.87% fee.
ZeroFoodprint is currently sourcing carbon credits to offset our member restaurants from the Mirador Clean Cookstoves project. This project works side-by side with local families across rural Honduras to build improved cookstoves that use just half the amount of wood of a traditional cookstove. When wood use is cut by half, so are CO2 emissions. These cookstoves also improve the health of local families who no longer breathe in constant smoke and their maintenance and operations provides jobs in high-unemployment rural areas.