Chipotle Plans Major Solar Power Initiative

Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:30am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Partners with Standard Renewable Energy to Generate 500 kW of Solar Power
On-site at Chipotle Restaurants
DENVER--(Business Wire)--
Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG) (NYSE: CMG.B) announced today it is
partnering with Houston-based Standard Renewable Energy (SRE) to install solar
panels on approximately 75 Chipotle restaurants over the next year. In all,
Chipotle has committed to panels that will produce 500 kilowatt hours of
electricity, making Chipotle the largest direct producer of solar energy in the
restaurant industry. 

"Our effort to change the way people think about and eat fast food began with
our commitment to serving food made with ingredients from more sustainable
sources, and that same kind of thinking now influences all areas of our
business," said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle. "Today,
we`re following a similar path in the way we design and build restaurants,
looking for more environmentally friendly building materials and systems that
make our restaurants more efficient." 

Solar panel installations are already underway in select cities including
Denver, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. Markets and restaurants where solar may
be used is based on a formula that includes a restaurant`s electricity
consumption, local utility solar rebates, and its access to direct sunlight. 

The intent of Chipotle`s solar initiative is to reduce the restaurants`
traditional energy consumption during peak hours for energy use (from 11 a.m. to
7 p.m.), when pressure on the energy grid is greatest. The amount of power
produced through the solar program will eliminate more than 41 million pounds of
CO2 emissions. 

"Chipotle has recognized an eco-friendly method of reducing its operating costs
while reducing its carbon footprint," said Standard Renewable Energy CEO John
Berger. "By applying solar, each individual restaurant will be decreasing its
reliance on the local grid and fossil fuels and supplementing it with clean,
renewable energy. This is just another way Chipotle is leading the restaurant
industry in sustainability." 

In addition to this new solar panel initiative, Chipotle was the first
restaurant ever to receive Platinum level LEED certification - the highest level
- by the U.S. Green Building Council for its Gurnee, Ill., restaurant that
features an on-site wind turbine and an underground cistern to harvest rainwater
for irrigation. Chipotle also has a LEED certified restaurant in Long Island,
N.Y., and a third restaurant that is pending certification in Minneapolis. All
of Chipotle`s new restaurants include some environmentally friendly materials or
systems, including low VOC paints and sealants, recycled drywall and stainless
steel, photocell light controls that regulate electric lighting based on
availability of natural lighting, or low-E window glass that helps reduce
heating and cooling needs. 

Chipotle`s pursuit of more sustainable building options is an extension of a
philosophy it calls "Food with Integrity" that has the company pursuing
ingredients from more sustainable sources. This commitment has led Chipotle to
serve more naturally raised meat (from animals raised in a humane way, never
given antibiotics or added hormones, and fed a pure vegetarian diet) than any
other restaurant company. It also maintains significant commitments to serving
organic and locally grown produce, and cheese and sour cream made with milk from
cows that are never given the synthetic hormone rBGH. 

About Chipotle

Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO, started Chipotle with the idea that
food served fast did not have to be a typical fast food experience. Today,
Chipotle continues to offer a focused menu of burritos, tacos, burrito bowls (a
burrito without the tortilla) and salads made from fresh, high-quality raw
ingredients, prepared using classic cooking methods and served in a distinctive
atmosphere. Through our vision of Food with Integrity, Chipotle is seeking
better food not only from using fresh ingredients, but ingredients that are
sustainably grown and naturally raised with respect for the animals, the land,
and the farmers who produce the food. Chipotle opened its first restaurant in
1993 and currently operates nearly 900 restaurants. For more information, visit 

About Standard Renewable Energy

Founded in 2006, Standard Renewable Energy (SRE) is the nation`s largest
Distributed Energy Services Company (DESCO) and leading provider of energy
efficiency and on-site renewable energy solutions for homes, businesses and
government entities. Products and services include solar and wind energy
systems, energy monitoring services, energy audits, high-efficiency heating and
cooling products, high efficiency insulation and lighting, solar window film,
and more. For further information visit their website at

Chris Arnold, 303-222-5912
Standard Renewable Energy
Kelley Wright, 713-269-4043

Copyright Business Wire 2009

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