Wahaca Edinburgh receives SKA Gold rating for it's eco-credentials

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Wahaca Edinburgh receives SKA Gold rating for it’s eco-credentials

 

Proud winners of the Food Made Good Award

Yesterday (22nd of March, 2016) we went along to the Food Made Good Awards, an annual celebration of everything that is good about the food-service industry and the people in it, hosted by the Sustainable Restaurant Association in partnership with the Independent on Sunday, we were delighted to receive the award for Large Group of the Year. The awards champion a wide range of businesses, from fine dining establishments to farm cafés, there were a brilliant array of names hoping to win. They all have impressed with their care for the environment, the produce they serve and their staff too.

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From the day we first opened in Covent Garden, we challenged ourselves to minimise the environmental impact our business caused. We’ve since learned how to build sustainability into every element of our restaurants and have just become the first Carbon Neutral restaurant group in the UK and we are supporting a stove project in Mexican rural communities to offset carbon emissions.

Wahaca Liverpool Cocktail Bar
Wahaca Liverpool Cocktail Bar where blocks of glass which were previoulsy in the ceiling, were used to build the bar.

We also work with wonderful suppliers, support Water Aid, and use MSC fish in our menu, as well as taking care and re-using materials when building new restaurants.

Thank you to all the wonderful people we work with so closely for making this a reality.

 

 

Now serving Belu water, water with ethics.

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Now serving Belu water, water with ethics.

Back in 2015, we started serving Belu still and sparkling water at every Wahaca.

We’ve always been interested in supporting projects that give something back to the community. As an example, we give 20p of every single seasonal specials we serve to Ednica, a UNESCO-backed charity dedicated to help children and teenagers who live in the streets of Mexico City.

We are really proud to have Belu water at Wahaca.Why?, Belu water is the most sustainable water company in the UK. They only use materials and water from the UK; their bottles are made of the lightest clear glass, which reduces their carbon footprint; all their materials are 100% recyclable. But most importantly, all of their profits go to WaterAid, a charity with the main goal of giving access to fresh, clean drinking water in areas of the world with extreme poverty.

Belu water partenered with WaterAid in 2011 with the aim of donating £1 million by 2020; we are thrilled to know they achieved this by the end of 2015!

Whenever you stop by at one of our sites to have your taco fix and you want to help a little bit, why don’t you try Belu water (alongside one of our margaritas!), knowing that with every gulp of still or sparkling water, someone will also have better access to drinking water as well.

Sustainability, always on the top of our list when opening new restaurants.

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Sustainability, always on the top of our list when opening new restaurants.

Last summer, we received the wonderful news that our Bristol restaurant achieved SKA Gold – we were thrilled with the news (obviously!), but, in general terms, what does it mean to our staff, who work tirelessly in our sites, and to our customers, who sometimes are willing to wait two hours to get a table and enjoy some tacos and margaritas?

This all comes back to sustainable development, a concept that, although is almost 30 years old, is shaping the way businesses work, good practices are set and societies in the world work together for one common goal: preserving natural resources, economy and culture for future generations to enjoy in the same way we enjoy them now.

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Sustainability has always been part of the core values at Wahaca. Since we opened our first site in Covent Garden we have been keen on using materials that are ethically sourced, like Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) wood on our tables, or materials that have multiple uses, like cork as a heat retainer and soundproof in our Stratford branch. We also ensure that all of the timber specified for each new restaurant fit out is sustainably sourced – it is either FSC or PEFC certified or is reused/ reclaimed – this applies to all construction timber, as well as every chair and table and all loose ancillary furniture; we also work with local farmers and markets to get the freshest and most delicious ingredients without having to worry about increasing our CO2 footprint due to transportation.

At our most recent opening in Liverpool, we reused signage from Wahaca Manchester, put down artificial grass on our stunning roof-top bar made of 100% recycled plastic and re-used existing blocks of glass for the bar counter from a wall that was taken down.

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In terms of water usage and lighting, we have a strong policy of training our staff into turning lights and water taps off when they’re not in use; at the same time, the staff areas and toilets have movement sensors, which means they automatically turn off when no one is around and our water taps and WCs are all fitted with flow controllers, which limit the flush to 4.5 litres.

As our company grows with time, new sustainability requirements will arise and we will do whatever we can to implement them in new sites, as well as giving our older sites a little refurbishment to get up to standard. We know there is always room for improvement and we love all new ideas our staff come up with. Whenever you visit our amazing Bristol site or any of our other beautiful restaurants, tuck in safely, because your food will cost little to the environment and we make sure that has happened from day one and continues to happen, no matter how big we get.

Win a sustainable chauffeur driven date at Wahaca every day of Climate Week

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Win a sustainable chauffeur driven date at Wahaca every day of Climate Week

Climate Week is fast approaching and to celebrate Wahaca being voted sustainable restaurant group of the year for the 2nd year running, we’re giving away a fully sustainable chauffeur driven date night every day from the 4th – 10th March.

The 7 lucky winners and their loved one will be picked up from an address in London by our friends at Climatecars, London’s environmentally friendly car service, and driven to their local Wahaca where we’ll have a table for 2 waiting for you. After dinner, a car will whisk you back home to bask in the sustainable glory with a belly full of award winning Mexican deliciousness.

The winners will be announced each day of Climate Week through our facebook page, so become a fan and keep your eyes peeled.

To enter the competition just complete your details below and we’ll put you in our big sustainable Mexican hat, and draw our 7 winners at random throughout Climate Week.

Winners can be safe in the knowledge that Climatecars’ fleet is made up entirely of environmentally friendly hybrid cars which run on a combination of petrol and electricity resulting in significantly reduced emissions.

Climate Week is a supercharged national occasion that offers an annual renewal of our ambition and confidence to combat climate change. It is for everyone wanting to do their bit to protect our planet and create a secure future. You can check their website for all kinds of events going on around the country and see how you can get involved.

Buena Suerte!

 

The T’s and C’s: The competition is open to anyone who can be picked up and dropped off at a London postcode and is sadly not valid at Wahaca Bluewater, but we do still love you. Journeys must be to and from London postcodes and must be A to B journeys, with no extra stops. Wahaca will pick up the bill for your food, soft drinks and the first 2 rounds of boozy drinks. By entering you agree to receive informative and cheerful emails from Wahaca, you can unsubscribe at any time. Romance is not 100% necessary, but hey, a little love goes a long way, don’t ya think?p>

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Wahaca voted Sustainable Restaurant Group of the Year

On Monday we went along to the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s first ever awards ceremony and picked up the Sustainable Restaurant Group of the year trophy.

We are over the moon to have received this award, not only in recognition of all the hard work we put into sustainability across the board, but also when there are so many other great restaurants working hard in this area too. Have a look at the article from this Sunday’s Independent to read about the other restaurants that took home awards.

We think the SRA’s awards are going to be a great annual event for shouting about what restaurants are doing, and can achieve, with all things green and want to thank the SRA for voting for us. Ever since we opened, sustainability has been a vital part of how we run our restaurant. It’s not always easy and it’s often quite a bit more expensive, but we think it’s worthwhile and when we receive awards like this one, it shows that work has paid off.

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Wahaca at the Sustainable City Awards

Last week, we went along to meet the Lord Mayor at the Sustainable City Awards, and were delighted to come away with an award in the Sustainable Food category, and be shortlisted in the slightly less glamorous (but no less important) Sustainable Waste Management category.

Thank you very much to all of the judges who thought that our work to refurbish our new Wardour Street restaurant was worthy of a mention amongst all of the top companies who were also shortlisted.

Since joining the Sustainable Restaurant Association we have become more and more committed to running a sustainable restaurant, which as Lucy Siegle says in the latest edition of OLA London, isn’t so easy. It’s recognition like this that keeps us motivated to make sure our business is minimising the impact it has on the environment around us – A bit like the market stalls that originally inspired us. Which we think is kindda nice.

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Wahaca helps Gateway Primary School go green

A few months ago now we had an email from Gateway Primary school near Edgeware Road who were looking for ways to expand their Eco-Club. Always keen to help out with community growing products, we eagrely popped some chilli seeds in the post to them and awaited the first news of shoots. 

We’re very happy to hear that now, they’re going stronger than ever with green-houses made from plastic bottles helping the seeds on their way through the winter. Here’s what they had to say…

Hello!  We are the Eco Team at Gateway Primary  School and we’re working very hard to make our school a more sustainable and environmentally friendly place!

We have lots of projects going on at the moment such as recycling at school and reducing the amount of energy we use,  but our favourite is our growing project! Last year we grew potatoes and chillies (thanks to our teacher having been for dinner at Wahaca in Covent Garden!)

 Here are 2 photos of us planting the chilli seeds and we were very excited to see shoots appear! 

This led us to think that we could get lots of children and their parents involved in growing chilli plants as we all love spicy food at our school!

So we have started an Eco-competition every week in our school newsletter… and the prize is a “Grow your own Chillies kit!” like the one here! 

We want to say a huge “Thank you!” to Wahaca for offering to provide us with the chillies we need to get the whole school growing!  Muchas gracias!

De nada! We’re looking forward to hearing more about how your Eco-Club grows, and hearing a little about the delicious food you make with those chillies! Please do keep us posted.