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Reuters has a piece about Burgerville, the Pacific Northwest fast food chain, which has been pursuing an environmental strategy that has had a direct payback.

According to the story, “Currently more than 60 percent of the restaurant company's garbage avoids ending up in landfills due to an employee-led recycling and composting program begun in 2007; once that amount reaches a company-wide goal of 85 percent, Burgerville expects to pocket some $100,000 in yearly waste removal savings.”

In addition, “Last year Burgerville recycled nearly 70,000 gallons of used oil from its fryers, the result of an initiative begun in 2006; nine of every ten gallons are converted into cleaner-burning biodiesel fuel. Last year Burgerville introduced a sustainable packaging program.”

"It's not a moral story I'm trying to preach,” says CEO Jeff Harvey. “It's the pathway to smart and sustainable business."
KC's View:
I’ve long said in this space that Burgerville is one of the best burger chains out there, proving day in and day out that a fast food chain doesn’t have to make lowest common denominator product. From the burgers to the smoothies, Burgerville is a superior operation…and one of the things that the Reuters piece points out is that the company’s sustainability initiatives extend to sourcing meat from a cooperative of local ranchers.

Now, it is fair to say that this works for Burgerville because it only serves an area of the country that is friendly to environmental concerns. But in my view, this is the way of the future that more and more companies are going to adopt.

And besides all that, they make a superb Tilamook Cheeseburger and Triple Berry Blast Smoothie.