Greenopia, which researches eco-friendly retailers, services and organizations, has recently named its most sustainable restaurant chains.

Companies were ranked based on Greenopia’s green leaf system, with criteria based on green building design, supply chain, recycling/take-back programs and sustainability reporting.

Those receiving the highest (4 green leafs) were EVOS, with 10 units; Le Pain Quotidien, 30 units; and Pizza Fusion, 75 units.

According to Greenopia, “EVOS has done a lot to make its restaurants as green as possible. They sell a variety of organic and fair trade products which are both ecologically and socially responsible. EVOS has incorporated many elements of green building design into its locations including natural building materials, no-VOC paints, efficient fixtures, and recycled items as well. EVOS also uses recycled-content items for menus and to-go containers. Finally, EVOS purchases wind credits to offsets its energy footprint.”

EVOS has been one of Greenopia’s top performers for the past three years. Greenopia calls it the “greenest burger chain in the U.S.”

Of Le Pain Quotidien, Greenopia wrote that it “uses organic and local ingredients in its prepared foods and has incorporated numerous elements of green building design into its stores including reclaimed fixtures and efficient appliances. Le Pain Quotidien also composts its food waste and uses its spent food oil for biodiesel.”

The only area Le Pain Quotidien could improve on, according to Greenopia, is its sustainability reporting.

On Florida-based Pizza Fusion, Greenopia acknowledged the chain's LEED certified green building designs, organic ingredients delivered by hybrid delivery vehicles, and its employees' organic cotton uniforms.

Also, Greenopia's "personal favorite, Pizza Fusion has a take back incentive for their used pizza boxes. If you return the pizza box, you get a discount on your order. What a great way to promote recycling and reuse.”

Three Green Leafs and under

Burgerville, Chipotle, Peets and Starbucks each received three green leafs.

McDonald’s was the only company on the list of 23 chains that received two green leafs.

Those receiving one green leaf were Panera Bread, Sharky’s, Subway and the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.

Companies that had zero green leafs were Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Sonic, Qdoba, Pizza Hut, KFC, Jack in the Box, Dunkin’ Donuts, Domino’s, Burger King and Arby’s.

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