The group, which has more than 79 restaurants in the UK as well as others overseas, went live on Wednesday (13 January) with the new 'Crispy Chicken Parm' and 'Vegan Sweet Carolina BBQ' burgers; a new recipe LOVe Burger; fish finger and chargrilled chicken burgers; and baked waffle fries.
The LOVe burger is now made with a new-recipe pea protein patty from plant- based producer Meatless Farm, which Leon says also helped the menu item have a lower environmental impact.
Leon says it was measuring, reducing and offsetting the carbon footprint of its burgers and fries with support from ClimatePartner, which offers carbon-offset projects across the world.
This is done by measuring the CO2 emissions from the whole supply chain which includes all LEON’s ingredients, any packaging used and its waste, as well as emissions from prep in their restaurant kitchens. LEON uses 100% green electricity in its kitchens supplied by Ecotricity.
The company says rainforest conservation projects in South America, and a progressive new afforestation project in the UK would offset the carbon footprint of the new menu items which are available for contact-free click & collect via mobile, digital kiosks, delivery and pick-up on Deliveroo and Uber Eats.
The business sees the launch an an important step for the business as it aims to reach net zero by 2030, by reporting on and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and furthering work to support biodiversity. It signed up to the Council for Sustainable Business commitments last June.
Kirsty Saddler, values and sustainability director at Leon, says kindness to the planet had been at the heart of the business since it launched in 2004.
“We are working to reduce our emissions and achieve a net zero target by 2030, offsetting unavoidable emissions, with reforestation and afforestation projects, is an important commitment for us as we work towards that long-term target.
“Partnering with Meatless Farm and ClimatePartner to become the UK’s first fast food restaurant to launch a carbon-neutral burger and fries range on the high-street is an important next step for us as a sustainable business. The future of fast food must be kinder to the planet.”