Moe’s First Green Restaurant Launches the Brand’s Sustainability Initiative

Williston, VT (13)

ATLANTA, GA (November 12, 2009) – On October 15 Moe’s Southwest Grill celebrated the opening of the chain’s first green restaurant in Williston, VT. Two years ago Franchise Partners Sueayn and Philip Wood along with the Moe’s team set out to make the Williston Moe’s the first LEED certified restaurant in the chain and in the state of Vermont. 

“It’s exciting to be the first Moe’s restaurant to attempt LEED certification,” explains Sueayn Wood. “Our hope is that some of the innovations that have been discovered through this process can be applied to other Moe’s restaurants throughout the country.”

On its way to earning Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Moe’s has installed LED lighting, energy efficient cooking equipment, and a technologically advanced air control system that they anticipate will reduce energy consumption by 22 percent.

In compliance with LEED standards, the building materials were locally sourced and the laminates, paint and adhesives are all low-emission to help enhance the air quality of the restaurant. 

In addition, this new location features low flow sink aerators, low flow toilets and waterless urinals. 

Finally, a unique regional feature is the Freeaire management system for the walk-in cooler that overrides the condensers and evaporators once the outside air reaches a temperature that is equal to or cooler than the desired walk-in temperature.   

“This project has been a great learning experience for the Moe’s brand,” explains President Paul Damico. “It has challenged our operations, development and supply chain teams to find solutions that meet the USGBC’s high standards.” 

In an effort to make responsible recommendations to Franchise Partners who wish to make their new and existing restaurants greener, Moe’s is tracking the usage and cost of Williston’s water, waste and energy to determine the impact of these environmentally-friendly improvements.

“At the same time, Moe’s is working on an energy efficiency strategy for the brand, testing a composting solution and making nutritional improvements,” says Damico. “Moe’s is committed to a more sustainable future and this marks the beginning of our journey.”

Williston, VT (6)


4 Responses

  1. It appears your restaurant is located in Williston, VT, a sparsely populated but rapidly growing suburb of Burlington. From the picture, the restaurant appears to be more or less in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by a gigantic parking lot. I’m sure the low emission paints are nice, but is this really a sustainable restaurant if it is driving suburban sprawl and lots of car commutes? Wouldn’t you have gotten all the energy and carbon gains from all these bells and whistles just by choosing another location?

    • I hear ya. There is always more we can and should do to help reduce Moe’s carbon footprint. It’s going to be a long journey for us for sure and this just the beginning. The energy efficiencies that are discovered through this location can be replicated at other Moe’s locations throughout the country. If we find that this location reduces energy by 22% (which is what they are currently estimating), imagine if we can do the same thing in 400 restaurants nationwide. That is where we could start to make a difference. Wish us luck! It should be quite an exciting ride… 🙂

  2. Way to go Moe! It is exciting to read about you guys hopping on the Green band wagon and making a difference the sustainable way. Keep it up!

  3. It appears that some people see the glass half-empty but I’m happy to see the progress and hope it spreads quick. =]

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