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60 SF Restaurants Go Carbon Neutral for Climate Action Summit

Visiting climate scientists and diplomats gotta eat

Patricia Chang

Thousands of world leaders and their entourages descend on San Francisco this week for a Global Climate Action Summit, every one of them asking the same important questions. One: How can the people of earth work together to reduce global carbon emissions? And two: Where’s a good, carbon nuetral place to get a bite around here?

Anthony Myint, co-founder of ZeroFoodPrint, has about 60 answers to that question, from Kaya to Trestle to his own rigorously sustainable restaurant the Perennial. That business and others around the globe, from noma in Copenhagen to Metta in Brooklyn, are committed to being ZeroFoodprint year-round: It’s a punnily-named system of carbon neutrality Myint calls “something between Fair Trade coffee certification, Leed certification, and a voluntary soda tax.”

This week, a group of about 60 restaurants are testing out ZeroFoodPrint (if they don’t already participate all year) in a partnership with the Global Climate Action Summit and the Golden Gate Restaurant Association. As diplomats and scientists flood the city, “we’re taking this opportunity, with the summit, to really try and rally a lot of excitement about restaurants that are carbon neutral,” says Myint.

To join up, restaurants take a brief survey about the ingredients and energy they use, the firm 3Degrees makes an assessment, and ZeroFoodPrint helps restaurants set a per cover donation cost to offset their emissions for the length of the week — about $0.10 to $0.25 per cover for most businesses. Restaurants can also skip the assessment and just give $0.50 per cover. The money goes to a climate Action Reserve verified offset project and to a climate beneficial ranching project in Marin.

ZeroFoodPrint’s goal is to create an identifiable standard for carbon neutral restaurants, as well as an easy system for busy restaurants to do the right thing without making radical changes. “Let’s say you’re a burger shop — I don’t think it makes sense to become a tofu shop or a raw vegan shop,” says Myint. “But it totally makes sense to send 10 cents per burger to improve ranching processes.”

These restaurant (below) are doing roughly that — and as they fuel summit attendees, they just might set the table for the next big climate agreement.

3rd Cousin 8 Tables 25 Lusk ‘aina Aster Atelier Crenn Bar Crenn benu Besharam Cala Central Kitchen Coi Commis Commonwealth Credo E&O Kitchen and Bar flour + water Foxsister Frances Gracias Madre Hawker Fare in situ Jardiniere Kaya Lazy Bear LeCupboard Cafe LinkedIn Cafe Lord Stanley Mikkeller Bar Mission Chinese Food Monsieur Benjamin Namu Gaji Octavia Onigilly-Embarcadero Onigilly-1st & Market Onigilly-Kearny Onigilly-Palo Alto Onigilly-Sansome Onsen Petit Crenn Prubechu’ Quince Rich Table RT Rotisserie Saison SHED (Healdsburg) SingleThread (Healdsburg) Smokebread State Bird Provisions Sweetgreen-Berkeley Sweetgreen-Mountain View Sweetgreen-Palo Alto Sweetgreen-San Mateo Sweetgreen-SOMA Sweetgreen-Sunnyvale Tartine Bakery The Morris The Perennial The Progress Trestle True Laurel