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04/21/2022

Just Salad Details Sustainability Initiatives, Impact

Just Salad's Annual Impact Report details advancements made across carbon labeling and packaging solutions. 91% of its disposable food service packaging was made from recycled and/or renewable materials!
Anna Wolfe
Senior Editor - Restaurants
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Just Salad released its Annual Impact Report detailing the company’s progress in achieving waste-free, climate-smart dining across stores during 2021, as well as several first-time actions taken to embed environmental sustainability into its operations.

Carbon Labels Receive Third-Party Verification

The brand partnered with Planet FWD™, a carbon management platform, to take its carbon labeling efforts to the next level. As of March 2022, Just Salad’s carbon labels are third-party verified by Planet FWD™, showing full cradle-to-grave emissions estimates for each menu item. These estimates enable Just Salad to curate a Climatarian menu featuring its lowest-emissions options and make targeted sustainability improvements to its menu overall, with carbon footprint per ingredient as a key consideration in recipe development.

Sustainability for the Planet

Sustainability matters to today's consumers and restaurant operators. Two out of three (66%) consumers surveyed feel it’s important that restaurants are open about their practices to limit food wasteAccording to the National Restaurant Association’s annual What’s Hot Culinary Forecast, sustainability will continue to influence menus and how restaurants make decisions in 2022. 

Benefits of Reuse

Just Salad’s Reusable Bowl program has been available to customers for on-premise ordering across all locations since the company was founded in 2006. In 2021, Just Salad partnered with the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology (NYP2I) to conduct a life cycle assessment (LCA) comparing the overall environmental impacts of its MyBowls against single-use disposable salad bowls. In an effort to understand the “break-even point” – the number of times the MyBowl must be used for its impact to be less than disposable bowls – the LCA evaluated the carbon emissions and water use associated with each bowl at each stage of its life cycle. 

Sustainable Packaging Solutions

Just Salad continues to prioritize its innovative reusable packaging solutions. As a result of its Reusable Bowl program, over three tons of single-use waste were avoided in 2021. With respect to disposable packaging, Just Salad seeks to maximize recyclability and recycled content. In 2021, as part of an internal audit guided by SASB (Sustainable Accounting Standards Board) standards, Just Salad estimated that 91% of its disposable food service packaging was made from recycled and/or renewable materials, and 90% of its packaging was recyclable, reusable, and/or compostable. 

Sustainable Delivery

Just Salad expanded its partnership with Deliver Zero to offer reusable containers for pickup and delivery orders on DoorDash and Caviar. Through Deliver Zero, customers can choose to have their order built in a reusable DeliverZero container. Then, they can return it to the Just Salad location they ordered from or any store within the DeliverZero network.

This builds upon Just Salad's reusable program.  Back in 2021, Just Salad relaunched its Bring Your Own Cup (BYOC) program for smoothie order.

Small changes too make a difference.  In 2021, the utensil opt-out feature on orderjustsalad.com avoided over 2,200 pounds of unnecessary waste.

Just Salad for the first time completed a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and also invested in store waste audits showing significant progress toward diverting more than 90% of daily waste from landfills, and started selling surplus food via Too Good to Go to achieve quantifiable reductions in waste-related emissions. 

“The time has come for radical solutions – to the never-ending stream of single-use waste; to the lack of transparency about the environmental impacts of our food and packaging choices; to the systemic obstacles to reducing food waste; and so much more,” said Sandra Noonan, Chief Sustainability Officer at Just Salad.

To learn more about sustainability at Just Salad and to download the full 2021 Annual Impact Report, visit tinyurl.com/jssustainability.