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Chipotle is first restaurant to achieve LEED Platinum certification


Denver Chipotle Mexican Grill has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum-level certification by the U.S. Green Building Council for its restaurant in Gurnee, Ill. Built in 2008 under the LEED for Retail pilot program, it the first eatery to receive Platinum certification, the highest LEED-certification level.

“Our team worked hard to ensure that sustainable elements that made sense for this location were seamlessly incorporated into the design of the restaurant, while still giving it the iconic look of a Chipotle,” said Steve Ells, founder, chairman and co-CEO of Chipotle.

The restaurant opened in the fall of 2008 and was designed to achieve LEED certification for energy use, lighting, water and material use. In addition to a variety of recycled building materials and environmentally friendly systems, the Gurnee location includes a 6 kilowatt wind turbine that generates a portion of the restaurant’s energy on site, as well as a 2,500-gal. underground cistern that harvests rainwater to irrigate the landscape.

Chipotle has designed and built other restaurants in Minneapolis and Long Island, N.Y., to comply with LEED certification standards and is awaiting final certifications on those projects.

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