In 2016, through the use of renewable energy for restaurants and head office, and carbon credits for the remaining emissions including business travel, Wahaca has become the first restaurant group in the UK to be certified as having a net zero carbon footprint in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol.
Wahaca has sought to be a climate leader since opening their first restaurant in Covent Garden in 2007. The group has continually improved their sustainability credentials by regularly assessing the efficiency of older locations, and completing SKA Retail environmental assessments for every new site. They have been able to reduce the energy consumption of pre-2013 locations by 15% and post-2013 locations by 36%.
Wahaca also strives to manage their waste and source ingredients in a sustainable manner. All food waste from the restaurants is converted into biogas and liquid fertiliser. Many ingredients are also sourced locally to each individual restaurant. Wahaca Brixton has teamed up with neighbours Brixton Brewery to produce the exclusibe Lupulo pale ale, originating just a five minute walk from the restaurant. This helps to limit the carbon emissions that would be generated from importing beer. Wahaca has also worked with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) on sustainable fish sourcing since 2008 and is currently investigating local herb growing schemes.
Similarly, Wahaca supports the Improved Mexican Cookstove project which aims to make efficient cook stoves more affordable in rural Mexico. The new stoves reduce fuel use by up to 60% whilst reducing exposure to harmful indoor air pollution.
“We are delighted to help Wahaca achieve carbon neutral certification, adding to their impressive internal reduction activities with a programme of external emission reductions, and providing a simple, clear statement of action and impact to customers, staff and suppliers.”
-Simon Brown, Managing Director Europe from Natural Capital Partners