Thomasina Miers exploring fresh ingredients in Oaxaca MexicoExterior of Wahaca Southbank with outside terrace seating

Three focus areas

Since our co-founders, Mark Selby, our CEO and Thomasina (Tommi) Miers, started Wahaca they have been striving for ways to make a positive impact through our restaurants and food, while minimising any harm to the natural world.

Keeping it green isn’t simple: there’s a lot of grey. But we’re committed to keep on doing our best, to carry on innovating and trying out new things. We focus on: animal welfare, reducing planetary impact and caring for the natural world
An illustration of the earth with a smiling face and arms around an array of fresh ingredients
Chickens roaming in a wide open space

Animal welfare

We source:
Free-range chicken and pork and eggs
Grass fed British beef
Organic milk

Reducing planetary impact

Carbon neutral since 2016
Making our Net Zero plan
Tirelessly reducing plastic (obvs not using plastic straws!)
Reduce impact from buildings & operations
A selection of Wahaca dishes which make up our classics set menu
Riverford organic farmers logo

Caring for the natural world

We invest in projects & ingredients with a long-term benefit to the natural world and work with organic & regenerative farmers
Find out more


In 2016 we decided to step up our sustainability game and were the first restaurant group in the UK to be certified as a CarbonNeutral® company in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol.

This means that we take lots of steps to reduce our carbon footprint, and then we offset what we cannot avoid by purchasing carbon credits to support projects that are close to our hearts.

For more information on CarbonNeutral® company scopes please see page 36 of The CarbonNeutral Protocol
Certified carbon neutral logo
Interior of Wahaca Cardiff

Green innovation

We monitor our energy and use state of the art equipment to minimise our environmental impact.

We use the heat energy created by our fridges and freezers to heat the restaurants’ hot water. Our ventilation systems are demand driven. We have motion sensor lighting. Flow controllers in all of our plumbing. We’re not stopping here, we’re always looking for new ways to do more.

Zero waste to landfill

All of our waste is diverted from landfill with the help of  Recorra. We are proud of our teams for achieving average recycling rates of 81% and we segregate our waste into at least five waste streams to save resources, reduce our impact on the environment and because it’s the right thing to do.

Glass, aluminium, plastic, paper and card are recycled. Food waste is converted into biogas and liquid fertiliser. General waste is incinerated and even that creates renewable electricity. All of our managed waste is treated within the UK and recyclables will stay within the UK and Western Europe.

Thanks to the hard work of our teams we’ve seen some incredible results since 2011.
Infographic showing the Wahaca recycling rate of 86%, 11,117 meals donated, almost 5 million tonnes of co2 saved, over 6000 trees saved and 117,670kg of paper recycled
Interior of Wahaca Shoreditch

Reduce & reuse

Our cooking oil is provided by Olleco, when we’re done with it they take away the used oil and process it into biofuel.  In 2022 alone, this has saved 421,058 kgs of CO2.

The vast majority of our takeaway packaging is made from bagasse, which is made from sugar cane fibres, and is home compostable. Not only does this help us avoid the use of trees, it also doesn’t require any plastic lining, this alone has a predicted saving of 16 tons of plastic production and offsetting 45,000 kg of carbon annually. We’ve also reduced our packaging by 36% with new bespoke boxes.


When we build our restaurants we always try to use as many recycled materials as possible. We have wood clad walls that used to be the Slug and Lettuce floor, and the floor in our Southbank bar used to be the walls in Dishoom. It’s a nice reminder of the past, but also a nice way to reduce our environmental impact when we open up.

We like to test ourselves when we build by completing “SKA Retail” environmental assessments to ensure our restaurants are as sustainable during construction as when they’re up and running. SKA helps us identify where we can reuse materials, specify materials with high recycled content, install energy efficient equipment and ensure that all timber is certified as sustainable. As a result of our efforts, all of our newly built restaurants have been rated with a Gold SKA rating.
Open kitchen at Wahaca Southbank
A woman cooking in Mexico with the support of the Mexican cook stove project which Wahaca supports


We choose our carbon offsetting projects carefully, so that we’re not only helping the planet, but its people too, whilst giving back to the country that’s inspired everything we do at Wahaca.

We support the Improved Mexican Cookstove project, which makes efficient cookstoves for low-income households in some of the poorest rural states in Mexico. The new stoves help reduce fuel use by as much as 58% and reduce exposure for families to harmful indoor air pollution.

We also support Oaxaca Wind, they produce enough electricity to power 700,000 households each year with renewable wind turbine energy!  Not only that, but they are award winners for the wider positive impact on their community.
Guac on the gram
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