Saturday, March 10, 2012

Chipotle's CSR

Since taking on a full-time internship in November that sadly for this blog has little connection to food and travel, my bandwidth for writing about these topics has been constrained. Of course, my appetite, both figurative and literal (get it? Literal? I made a double pun!), has not waned.

Chowing down on a puka dog in Hawaii

My internship deals with sustainability and corporate social responsibility communications, and one of my interview questions was, predictably, "What large company's sustainability efforts do you admire?" I say that the question was (or should have been) predictable, but clearly unemployment had hampered my clairvoyance, and I froze, afraid to mention a brand name that had some horrible environmental or social practice known only by true CSR experts. Or worse yet, that I might incriminate one of their clients as a bad example of CSR. Luckily a week-long temp gig a few weeks earlier got me through: I said something about admiring companies that fully integrate sustainability principles into all aspects of their activities, and cited National Geographic's zero-waste policy in their headquarters as an example of an organization expressing its mission -- conservation of the world -- through every little detail of its work.

It occurred to me recently, however, that if someone were to ask me the same question today, I would say Chipotle.