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Water Saved

Only 3% of the water on earth is freshwater, and only 1/3 of that is accessible for use in agriculture and cities. Agriculture accounts for 70% of the world’s annual water consumption. Climate change, with droughts and extreme weather, furthers the strain on farms. That is why it is more important than ever to conserve and improve the quality of our water. Our high standards for sourcing mean we partner with farms who implement sustainable agriculture practices that reduce impact on freshwater.

What is greywater

Greywater is waste water, typically generated from conventional crops that use synthetic fertilizer and pesticides. With sustainable agricultural practices, like improved crop management, we can reduce the contamination of runoff water.

CAlculating water Saved

HowGood’s assessment of each ingredient’s water footprint impact considered the green, blue, and greywater needs for each crop. Total water use was driven by variables including a crop’s location, certifications, and growing practices. Most of the variation in impact came from a reduction in greywater: responsibly-grown crops produce less excess nitrogen from chemical fertilizer runoff into surrounding waterways.

It is not just about the quantity of water used, but also the quality of the water being returned to the Earth.

How We back it up

We partnered with HowGood, an independent research company, with the world’s largest database on food sustainability. They assessed each of our 53 ingredients and compared them to the industry average agricultural impact against five key metrics (reduced carbon emissions, antibiotics avoided, water saved, improved soil health, and supported organic land). For water conservation specifically, they also relied on these additional resources for measurement.

Water Footprint Network Water Resources & Industry World Resources Institute Water Risk Atlas

Water Impact

Your score takes into account water conservation practices implemented by our farmers and ranchers, like planting cover crops, rainwater harvesting, and going organic. Together, we can save thousands of gallons from being wasted.


We’re helping transition producers to organic operations, aiding in water conservation and ensuring our supply grows.


These Chipotle ingredients drove the biggest positive impact on water conservation across our ingredient list and appear in order of the largest water savings. 


There’s a big difference in water usage, or the run-off from greywater, between conventional and organic avocados. In 2019 alone, Chipotle sourced 3.8 million pounds of organic avocados.

Our Commitment to organic
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Soybeans (tofu)

Of the 5 million pounds of soybeans we sourced in 2019, 100% were certified organic and served as our plant-based protein for our Sofritas. Organic agriculture has many sustainable benefits, but less contaminated and polluted greywater is one key way organic helps make a positive impact with this metric.

MORE ON Transitional Farms
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BLACK And Pinto Beans

Beans are more than a staple at Chipotle, they’re an opportunity to make a world of difference. In 2019, we sourced 9.4 million pounds of organic or transitional black and pinto beans.

our sustainability efforts
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In 2019, 24 million pounds, or roughly 28% of all the beef we sourced, was from partners who practice rotational grazing. That practice increases soil fertility and resistance to drought.

Our Animal Welfare Standards
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Room for Improvement

Greywater is the biggest driver of this metric, with synthetic fertilizer being the main source of greywater pollution. Based on our practices that favor organic, cover crops, and even grass-fed to some degree, we can really see an impact on the improved quality of greywater. Continuing to support these practices will help improve this metric even more.


Though the largest area of impact that we have to water is throughout our supply chain, our efforts to conserve water go beyond our Real Foodprint. We are continually looking for ways to measure and ultimately reduce the water we use at our restaurants and throughout our operation.

Calculate your real foodprint

Build your favorite Chipotle entrées in our Real Foodprint order simulator and we’ll show you the impact you’re helping to make when you choose Chipotle.

Get your foodprint
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