Going Green

Going Green: The Loco Group adopts a tree in dedication to funding reforestation

Following The Loco Group’s commitment to carbon neutrality in 2019, the Mexican restaurant and bar group is delighted to announce the next chapter of their journey towards climate resilience, offering patrons to join them in mitigating climate change by adopting a tree through the group’s tree-planting initiative dedicated to funding reforestation across
Borneo’s endangered rainforests.

Piloting at Super Loco Robertson Quay, The Loco Group will become Singapore’s first independent restaurant group to start a conversation about the true environmental cost of their menu: by calculating the carbon footprint of imported ingredients, comparing the impact between plant-based and animal-protein dishes and mitigating that impact by planting trees in
Borneo. One of the world’s oldest rainforests and recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its biodiversity, hundreds of critically endangered wildlife and indigenous peoples have called Borneo home for thousands of years.

Once a lush blanket of tropical rainforests, decades of extensive deforestation driven by illegal
palm oil plantation activity in the region have devastated the rainforest ecosystem’s ability to
recover on its own: resulting in widespread erosion, flooding, wildfires, habitat loss for critically
endangered species as well as a major loss of livelihood to indigenous village communities
relying on the forest for sustenance.

Today, with 56 million hectares of forest lost, only 24% of the original forest remains, with a
drastically diminished ability to absorb and reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide — responsible
for three-quarter of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions, making it a primary contributor
of global warming.

As consumers, patrons hold the ability to change the world through their choices. With that
vision in tow, guests can take their first step in leading a more conscious lifestyle and adopt a
tree for SGD 6 to aid reforestation in Borneo, when they dine in at Super Loco Robertson Quay.
Every tree adopted will be matched by The Loco Group planting a new tree.

With each tree removing an average of 22kg in carbon emissions per annum, tree planting has
been widely acknowledged as one of the quickest and easiest ways of mitigating climate
change, repairing habitats for critically endangered species and providing job opportunities for
remote communities.

Led in conjunction with reforestation technology start-up Green Steps Group, the tree adoption initiative introduces a metrics-based strategy operating on transparency and accountability to provide complete visibility and traceability to consumers.

‘We define a clear dollar value return on carbon dioxide mitigation based on transparent tree
planting operations,’ says Andrew Kerr, founder of Green Steps Group. ‘These include
tracking, protecting, maintaining and managing your trees, providing ongoing site updates and
sharing camera-trap photos documenting the return of endangered wildlife.’

After purchasing a tree, guests are given a unique QR code that lets them view their adopted
tree sapling on Green Steps Group’s digital platform. Containing information about their
sapling’s species, location, date and time of planting as well as the local farmer in charge of
caring for that tree, guests will be able to see how their individual contributions have a
far-reaching, sustained impact in giving our planet a fighting chance towards recovery.

In addition to empowering guests to initiate meaningful change on the environment, Super Loco
Robertson Quay’s new carbon-conscious menu features regionally sourced seafood and an
expanded selection of vegetarian options that make up 50 per cent of the menu. Plant-based
animal protein substitutes in dishes such as the Cactus Frito Taco, Quinoa Achiote Tofu Taco and Pumpkin and Corn Enchilada demonstrate that it is possible to enjoy Mexican food
responsibly in a sustainable manner, without sacrificing the familiar flavours of much-beloved
dishes.

By scanning the QR code on the menu, guests are able to view the carbon footprint of each dish
and its independent greenhouse gas emissions from the point of production in its country of
origin to the distance travelled in Singapore (see Appendix for more details). In addition, guests
can also compare the difference between carbon footprints of plant-based proteins and animal
proteins.

‘As a food and hospitality business, we are proud to lead the conversation in our community
about the true cost to the environment that our meal choices have,’ says Will Leonard, General
Manager of The Loco Group. ‘We are humbly aware of the opportunity afforded to us when we
enjoy food “from all parts of the world”: one that invites us to give back and make a positive
impact with the platform we have. With this project, we hope to show that a single action of
doing something seemingly small as planting a single tree, scaled up to the community level will
make an impact on the world we live in, and the one we leave for our children.’

The Loco Group’s tree planting programme pilots at Super Loco Robertson Quay from 3rd
February, 2021. This initiative will be progressively rolled out at Super Loco Customs House
and Lucha Loco in the coming months within 2021. For more information on The Loco Group’s sustainability journey, visit their website here.

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