Chipotle Mexican Grill recently made headlines with a divisive online animated short depicting a lone scarecrow in a dystopian fantasy world trying to provide an alternative to unsustainable factory-processed food. This video is part of a bold marketing strategy that is contributing to an important conversation about our food system, as Chipotle attempts to make a name for itself as a more environmentally friendly fast-food restaurant “dedicated to creating a sustainable, healthful and equitable food future.”
Domini applauds Chipotle for these efforts and for its high-profile challenges to industrial factory-farming techniques. However, we do not take the company’s claims at face value— we would like to see substantiating data. That is why we chose to join another investor in submitting a shareholder proposal seeking a sustainability report. During the quarter, we spoke with Chipotle executives about the proposal and about the company’s sustainability efforts. The company is committed to improving its level of transparency but was unwilling to produce the report we have requested. Our proposal will go to a vote at the company’s annual meeting on May 15, and our dialogue will continue.