At a Glance


Food Services

Project Type

Food and Agriculture




Washington, DC


Winder conducted a food waste and GHG emissions diagnostic and crafted a strategic roadmap for achieving 50% reductions by 2030.


CAVA engaged EDF’s Climate Corps fellowship program and ReFED to support the company in activating its commitment to assessing and reducing both food waste and greenhouse gas emissions throughout its value chain. It onboarded its first Climate Corps Fellow, Jonathan Winder, to spearhead this organizational drive during the summer of 2022.


Winder approached the project through four processes:

  • Interviewed employees to understand the company dynamics and gather ideas for best practices/solutions.
  • Food waste audits: Conducted waste audits across 7 restaurants in 4 states from trash thrown out by restaurant employees and customers to establish a baseline of CAVA’s waste stream.
  • Carbon accounting: Used two greenhouse gas emissions calculators (the EPA Simplified GHG Emissions Calculator) and the Quantis Scope 3 Evaluator for Scopes 1, 2, and 3. This high-level “screen” provided a baseline to determine the hot spots of the largest GHG emissions to inform strategic decision-making.
  • Strategic recommendations: Crafted a number of short, medium, and long-term strategic recommendations to reduce food waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

Potential Impact

  • The conversation will continue to change around sustainability, and employees will see both the need for and the benefit of reducing both food waste and GHG emissions.
  • The company will adopt a number of the recommendations and quickly begin to see substantive savings as well as lower food waste and GHG emissions.
  • The company will get drive advocacy for food waste and GHG reductions practices both internally with employees and externally, as a brand known for its sustainable as well as delicious food.

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