Carbon Neutral

Waste and recycling



Carbon Neutral

What are you committing to?

Nando’s will become carbon neutral by November 2021, covering direct and indirect emissions from across our business. That means our restaurants, take away and delivery meals, suppliers, logistics and our grocery business. This is one of many steps on a roadmap to becoming Net Zero by 2030. 

What does carbon neutral mean?

Becoming carbon neutral means Nando’s business will result in no net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, a key action to take in the global fight against climate change. 

There are different types of emissions - what are they and what do they entail?

Yes, there are scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 emissions.

Scope 1 emissions are those that come from direct, controlled sources – for example, company vehicles.

Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from purchased sources such as electricity.

Scope 3 emissions include all other emissions that occur in the process of running a business, including things like purchased goods, employee commuting or waste disposal.

What is covered in Nando’s offsetting – does it include scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions?

Yes, the offsetting commitment covers full scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, including our restaurants, our grocery business, our suppliers, logistics and the food we serve, meaning that through this programme, Nando’s carbon footprint will be drastically reduced over the next decade, despite the continued growth of the business. 

What does this mean for your environmental impact in real terms?

It means that as well as doing all it can to cut its own emissions, Nando’s is taking responsibility for those that can’t be avoided, through carbon offsets that finance climate and development projects elsewhere – in this case, countries that provide Nando’s vital ingredients, including our PERi-PERi chillies.

This means that we not only will be helping fight climate change by reducing our own carbon footprint, but also helping communities in which we operate.

How will this be achieved?

Nando’s already has a program in place to cut emissions in the business and its supply chain – e.g. we have switched all restaurants in England, Scotland and Wales to renewable electricity and gas.  We’re now building on our strategy by investing in high quality, independently assured carbon credit purchases that cover the remainder of Nando’s carbon footprint by November this year. This means that as people eat at Nando’s we will fund projects that offset emissions equivalent to those associated with their meal.

Through these purchases we will be supporting projects in southern Africa (Malawi, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa), establishing partnerships for multiple years. The first projects supported will include the Kariba Forest Project in Zimbabwe and the Wonderbag clean cooking project in South Africa.  

Why have you chosen these projects?

These are projects in heritage areas for the business and we have identified a number of really positive options that we think will not just help with offsetting but will also benefit the local communities in which these projects operate, and which are important to Nando’s. We chose these projects due to the fact that they are verified carbon offset projects accredited by VCS a leading and international ICROA approved standard. 

We have also worked with South Pole, a leading project developer and global climate solutions provider, to provide us with these VCS verified and accredited projects.

How many more projects are you looking at and when will you be in a position to announce further partnerships?

We are looking at a number of further opportunities on which we think Nando’s could partner. We will be in a position to announce these further partnerships in the near future.

Will these be long-term partnerships?

Absolutely. The fight against climate change requires a long-term view, and in order to work with our partners on an impactful vision for a more sustainable planet, we will be committed to these projects into the future and will continue to look for other suitable long-term projects to support that offer carbon removal/ sequestration options.

What are science-based targets?

Science-based targets, or SBTs, show a company like Nando’s how much and how quickly they need to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the worst effects of climate changed.

They are rooted in the science of climate change and verified by an the SBTi initiative, a partnership including the World Resources Institute, UN Global Compact and the WWF.

Nando’s SBTs were developed and verified in conjunction with the Science Based Targets Initiative, which the company announced last July. 

How have you reduced your carbon footprint to date?

Nando’s already has a program in place to cut emissions in the business and its supply chain – e.g. we have switched all restaurants in England, Scotland and Wales to renewable electricity and gas. We have also reduced the carbon footprint of a Nando’s meal by 40% since 2015.

In addition, the business has launched a new menu created for reopening which offers more lower-carbon, plant- based options than ever before, enabling customers to make lower-carbon choices, as well as working with suppliers to reduce the emissions associated with chicken farming, whilst improving welfare.

How much offsetting is involved in your emission reduction plan as a proportion of total emissions?

We’re offsetting all our emissions across our restaurants and supply chain that’s equivalent to:

- the annual emissions of 20,257 British citizens

- 28,269.70 Flights around the circumference of the world (economy class, one passenger)

- 71,418 Cars driven for a year (UK)

What aspects of the business are the largest contributors to Nando’s carbon footprint?

The food we serve is the largest contributor to our overall emissions, representing 65% of our output in FY21.

What are your plans for reducing scope 3 emissions generally?

The biggest impact we can make is through better understanding the full life cycle impact of all products in our food supply chain. Food and drink accounts for 80% of our carbon footprint and therefore offers the greatest potential for reduction.

Working closely with our suppliers will be key to reducing our scope 3 emissions.

We have just launched a brand new tool which will help us to identify carbon, water and land use hotspots in our supply chain and we will be working with our suppliers to help them calculate, and take accountability for their emissions and to set their own science based targets.

How will Nando’s measure emissions reduction progress?

We pride ourselves on being an industry leader in this area and work closely with [sustainability consultancies] to track our emissions progress on an ongoing basis against our science-based targets. We have also recently launched a tool into the business to enable us to more accurately track the life cycle impacts of all products on our menu.

How much will you be spending on offsets?

While we wouldn’t want to get into specific figures, we can say that this is an extremely important investment for Nando’s  and encompasses every facet of the UK and ROI business. We are committed to fighting climate change and achieving Net Zero by 2030.

Would the money not just have been better spent on work to reduce your absolute emissions?

Offsetting our carbon footprint while we work to reduce our absolute emissions allows us to take immediate climate action. What’s more, financing climate action projects through carbon offsetting has many social co-benefits: Depending on the project, offset programs help people in the developing world upgrade technologies and improve their lives and livelihoods. For example, access to better healthcare, jobs and education programmes – these changes improve people's quality of life as well as the environment.

We are confident that this is the right approach to ensure our business is taking its commitments seriously in the immediate term, placing us on a strong foothold to achieve our SBTs and Net Zero ambition.  We also know that the challenges in relation to reducing our scope three emissions will take time as well as investment and therefore we want to ensure that we are doing all that we can do now to reduce the impact we are having on the climate. Much of the impact we will require to reduce our absolute emissions will come from engagement with our supply chain and stakeholders, embracing innovation as well as collaboration within the sector to effect change, rather than just financial investment.

How are Nandocas involved in the business’s commitment to achieve these goals?

In the UK 1/3 of all food is wasted.

The single greatest thing that our Nandocas can do is to ensure that this is not the case at Nando’s and to make sure that we minimise the waste that we produce and recycle waste where possible. Much of the work around our direct emissions has already been achieved through investments in efficient technology and moving all our restaurants in England, Scotland and Wales to 100% renewable electricity and gas.

Do you think this is something that your consumers really care about? Where does it fit into Nando’s wider sustainability strategy?

We know for a fact that our customers are more conscious about their environmental impact and as a business it is right that we engage with this issue positively. We are proud of our SBTs announced in July and have made great strides on chicken welfare. This announcement is a further step in the right direction.

You have announced a lot on sustainability recently, is this not just another effort to gain some positive PR?

Not at all, we understand this is the right thing to do for our business and is expected of us from our customers.

The fact that there are a number of announcements demonstrates our commitment to the issue and the pace at which we are moving to make an impact. We have been working away behind the scenes on sustainability for years and have had an in-house team dedicated to sustainability since 2013. What has changed recently is our decisions to become more public in our communications around sustainability 

What practical implications will this have in your day-to-day businesses?

We already have a rigorous and robust emissions reduction plan and this offsetting is a further pillar in this plan. We understand the scale of the challenge and are committed to acting quickly to meet our obligations to the planet and the communities we serve. 

What can customers expect from this change? Will prices for your menu items go up?

No, menu prices will not go up due to this announcement.

In practice, as people eat at Nando’s we will fund projects that reduce or avoid emissions equivalent to those associated with their meal.

Chicken feed, particularly soy, is environmentally degrading. How does Nando’s work to reduce the impact of this?

Since 31st December 2015 all the soy we use in our ingredients and our supply chain has been responsibly sourced under the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS), ProTerra or equivalent.  

However, we also recognise that issues caused by soy is an industry wide challenge, and that is why we are using the power of our brand to help protect this vital natural resource. In 2017 we joined 60 companies in signing a statement of support for the Cerrado Manifesto, we are a member of the UK Roundtable on Sustainable Soy and in October 2020, we joined UK supermarkets in writing to government to ask for tougher regulations on the environmental impacts of soy, particularly deforestation.   

We recognise that there is more work to do which is why we are also investing in research looking at more sustainable feed alternatives and look forward to being able to share the results as soon as possible.

To get to Net Zero do you need to remove carbon, not offset through avoidance schemes?

Yes absolutely.

We’re really proud of our Net Zero by 2030 target and know the hard work it needs. We will continue to reduce our emissions to meet our Science Based Target but also work with partners that offer carbon removal projects in the future. That work will take time but has already begun. We wanted to make sure we could take action now and are proud to offset all our carbon this year supporting the work that Kariba Forest and Wonderbag do in the countries of our heritage.

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Waste and recycling

What are we doing about water waste?

We monitor our water usage to make sure we are being responsible. We also install low flow taps and toilets for customers and our kitchen taps are push to go, so they can't ever be left running. We regularly review our equipment to see where we can make water savings in places like the dishwashers and spray taps.

What do we do with leftover food?

Any leftover chicken at the end of the night is cooled, frozen and saved for charities. We work with over 387 unique charities and donate over 660,000 meals a year. 

What recycling do we do?

Our restaurants are set up to recycle card, plastic, glass, metal (DMR) and food waste. We’ve aligned our targets to the Plastics Pact with and we’re already in talks with suppliers to reduce packaging and use more recycled content where packaging can’t be avoided. 

All of our chip oil is collected and processed by heating and filtration to create biodiesel. Our chicken fat is also collected from all of our restaurants and used to create biodiesel and renewable energy (through anaerobic digestion). 

What are you doing about straws and ocean plastic?

Plastic is a very complicated issue and one that we are keen to get right. We are looking at all the places we use plastic and making sure we try to source the most viable and sustainable options. We are always on the lookout for more sustainable alternatives to plastic and are dedicated to improving wherever possible. The good news is that we now use only FSC certified paper straws and have reduced the amount of straws used by over 80%. 

Our ambition is to only use plastic with the maximum amount of recycled content in it, and always recycle the plastic that we do use. When it comes to alternatives, we are looking at these too. But we’re being cautious because they’re not always as environmentally friendly as they claim to be. 

What is your takeaway packaging made of?

Our takeaway bags are made from 100% recycled paper.

The rest of our takeaway containers are made from 100% recycled paper with a thin plastic lining to help keep the goodness in. All items are printed using vegetable based inks.

Do you offer members of the public free tap water?

You bet we do! We’ve joined the Refill scheme in all our restaurants, so just pop in and ask any of our team to show you the water machine to fill up your bottle.

What are we doing about Climate Change?

Climate change is a very serious issue, and we know that we have a role to play in being part of the solution. 

Our sustainability journey started many years ago, and we’re proud to say that we’ve already achieved key milestones we put in place for our business. Since 2015, we’ve reduced the carbon footprint of every one of our meals by 40% and donated over 2 million meals to local charities through our No Chuckin’ Our Chicken program.  

However, we know that there’s a lot more to do in order to become a truly sustainable business. 

Our new commitment to fighting climate change, which has been approved and validated by the international Science Based Targets initiative, is to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emission 100% by 2030 from a 2019 base year. Nando’s also commits to reduce scope 3 emissions 42% per meal by 2030 from a 2019 base year.  

We’ve created these commitments in line with the latest updates from climate science, stating what is needed by us in order to prevent the worst impact of climate change.  

In order to achieve our commitments, we’ve set out the following goals: 

- Achieving 100% renewable energy by 2022  

- Supporting Nando’s suppliers to reduce their own carbon footprint 

- Increasing plant-based menu offer 

- Building new and existing partnerships to influence wider industry change  

- Committing to transparent Science Based Target reporting. 

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What are we doing to make sure your restaurants are more sustainable?

We’ve developed a sustainable fit-out guide to ensure that every new restaurant we open and every restaurant we refurbish is as sustainable as possible. This includes using reclaimed timber or FSC certified sustainable timber. All our lighting is LED and we use as much recycled content as possible in things like tiles and flooring. We also have building management systems that regulate energy usage, looking out for things like the over-door heater which can’t be on if the air conditioning is on cool. It just makes sense.

What do you do with your old equipment?

Nando's is proud to be one of the original backers of Globechain, now the UK and Ireland's largest re-use platform. We work with Globechain to ensure that equipment and furniture we’re no longer using doesn’t go to waste, but gets redistributed to charities and communities that really need them. Since 2015 we have given away over 5,000 items. This has helped save charities save over £40,000 and prevented 70 tonnes of waste going to landfill. 

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Where do your soy products come from?

Since the 31st December 2015 all our soy has been responsibly sourced under the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS), ProTerra or equivalent. This is not just the soy we use as an ingredient but also in our supply chain too, which means that we buy RTRS credits to cover the volumes of soy fed to our chickens. 

What are we doing about palm oil?

As part of our mission to be palm oil free, we are in the process of removing it from all our ingredients. For the moment, it is sustainably sourced according to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), Rainforest Alliance or equivalent. 

What are you doing to improve welfare?

We insist that all of our suppliers adhere to Red Tractor standards. As part of the continuous review of our suppliers, we continue in the search for practical welfare improvements. In addition we employ an independent auditing company and our internal technical team also undertake regular visits to all our suppliers. We are confident that these process ensure that the chicken we serve meets the high standard which our customers demand. 

What is Red Tractor?

Red Tractor is a food assurance scheme which covers production standards developed by experts on Animal Welfare, Safety, Traceability and Environment Protection. 

They set the standards that are applied to the farms and to the different links in the food chain. They then carry out regular and robust inspections to ensure that producers, packers and other operators continually meet those standards. We all want to know that the food we are buying is safe and produced to good standards, and this only comes from knowing where it comes from and that the all suppliers are inspected and certified.


Visit the Red Tractor website here.

How clean is the energy you use?

Recently we switched most of our restaurants to renewable sources (wind, solar and hydro), this currently doesn’t include Ireland however we are hoping to switch Irish restaurants too when their contract is up. We’ve also installed solar panels on the roof of some of our restaurants, where it was logistically possible.

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