Fighting climate change and improving the living conditions of chicken are interlinked issues because higher welfare chicken typically has a higher carbon footprint.
The piri piri chicken-focused restaurant group is billing the proposed changes as ‘the most comprehensive and ambitious’ environmental commitment in its 28-year history.
Nando’s says it will achieve a further 50% reduction in carbon footprint and absolute zero in direct emissions by 2030.
This will be achieved via an absolute reduction in carbon emissions, as opposed to through carbon offsetting.
Strategies include increasing the number of plant-based menu items; switching over to renewable energy sources including gas; and helping suppliers to reduce their environmental footprint.
Nando’s has partnered with Compassion in World Farming, FAI Farms and the Soil Association to introduce a new long-term chicken welfare policy that will fully come into force by 2026.
The restaurant group has committed to give its chickens happier and healthier lives by raising them in higher-quality conditions with more room to roam and live.
It will also switch to naturally slower growing breeds; collaborate to help deliver improved farming practices; and support studies that look to further reduce the carbon footprint of chicken feed.
Nando’s does not plan to switch to free range chicken, but says it will continue its commitment to serve 100% fresh, Red Tractor assured British chicken and that it never has and never will use chlorinated chicken.
“Nando’s has always focused on trying to change lives for the better, on behalf of our customers and our teams,” says Nando’s CEO for UK and Ireland Colin Hill.
“Over the last four years our sustainability initiatives have significantly reduced our carbon footprint, but today we are launching ambitious new commitments which will set a strong example for what our industry can do to make a genuine difference."
"We are particularly proud, that with these targets, we will become the first in our industry to combine improvements in environmental sustainability with animal welfare.”
“Having worked closely with Nando’s since 2015, we know they have been prioritising the planet for years, behind the scenes. Going public on these ambitious, science-based targets is both bold and laudable," says The Sustainable Restaurant Association CEO Andrew Stephen.
"No one foodservice business can deliver the required changes on their own and we sincerely hope that this major commitment will inspire other operators to measure their impact and set their own targets so that together we can make food good."