Five ways the Chick-fil-A Support Center is helping to care for our planet
At Chick-fil-A®, we strive to be good stewards of all entrusted to us, and that guides our approach to responsibly managing our resources and showing care for the planet we share. This commitment comes to life in Atlanta at the Chick-fil-A, Inc. corporate office — also known as our “Support Center” — where we’re continuously innovating and finding new ways to foster sustainability efforts that benefit our employees, local communities and our environment.
Here are five ways Chick-fil-A is leaning into environmental stewardship at our Support Center.
1. Setting sights on zero-waste-to-landfill status.
In January 2020, the Chick-fil-A Support Center in Atlanta began a journey to achieve zero-waste-to-landfill status for its campus.
“Achieving zero-waste status is a very challenging, but impactful goal” said Teri Hauther, Sustainability Coordinator for Chick-fil-A. “We're excited about the progress we're making as we work toward this milestone.”
Chick-fil-A's first steps toward realizing its zero-waste goal were closely followed by the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, which temporarily stalled these efforts. However, the Support Center Staff were determined to keep the zero-waste goal top of mind.
In 2021, this work resumed. Dedicated Support Center Staff managed to divert nearly 10,000 pounds of waste from landfills by composting food waste, mitigating the disposal of recyclable plastics and engaging others on their sustainability journey.
2. Empowering and encouraging Green Team participation.
Alongside these efforts, the Chick-fil-A Green Team made its debut. This volunteer group comprises over 100 Chick-fil-A Staff who strive to cultivate a “green” mindset across the business by encouraging colleagues to incorporate sustainability into all aspects of life.
“The Green Team is instrumental in helping provide updates and training for their departments as ambassadors of sustainability work,” said Teri. “They live and breathe it. They volunteer any chance they get, all of this alongside their full-time jobs.”
For the Green Team, acting as good stewards of the planet and advocating for the most environmentally friendly ways of disposing of materials is yet another way of living out Chick-fil-A's Corporate Purpose, which emphasizes responsible stewardship.
“Here on campus, we want to ‘walk the walk’ for our Operators and Team Members,” said Teri. “By leading by example, we can apply our experiences to help Operators across the country implement sustainable practices in Chick-fil-A restaurants and beyond.”
3. Ensuring surplus meals are enjoyed.
Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy once said, “I hate to see anything go to waste and would rather figure out a way to make use of it.”
In the restaurant industry, leftover food at closing time is almost inevitable. To help address this challenge, we launched the Chick-fil-A Shared Table™ program in 2012 to bridge the gap between Chick-fil-A Operators and local agencies like shelters, soup kitchens and charities. As part of this program, our Support Center Café, which provides lunch for Staff, their families and other campus guests on a daily basis, also packages surplus food for pick-up so local organizations can incorporate the donated food into meals served to those in need.
4. Encouraging environmental responsibility and a thriving workplace.
One of fewer than 500 certified arboreta worldwide, our Support Center campus is home to more than 70 acres of woods, landscaped gardens, walking trails and wildlife. It also houses five beehives that can pollinate more than 1,800 acres across a 3-mile radius.
Not only is nurturing and protecting natural resources a priority, but managing technological resources is a focus as well. Through the Chick-fil-A Technology Savings Program, Operators and Staff can purchase certified refurbished laptops, monitors, smartwatches, phones and more, extending the typical life cycle of an electronic product.
Additionally, Staff with electric vehicles can recharge their cars at more than 80 parking spots powered by 40 free charging stations across the Support Center campus.
“Being good stewards of our planet is the right thing to do,” said Teri. “That’s why we’re working so hard to make sustainability resources available and an integral part of the way we do our business.”
5. Educating and empowering new Staff.
When new Staff join Chick-fil-A, learning about the company’s corporate social responsibility priorities and sustainable practices is an essential part of the onboarding process. As part of their orientation, new Staff receive a reusable Chick-fil-A water bottle to use at the beverage stations across our campus and are also educated on how to utilize the sorting stations throughout the Support Center where they can compost and recycle materials. New hires also receive a sweet welcome gift: a jar of honey harvested from the apiary on our campus.
“Our mission matters to the next generation,” said Teri. “We want to be an attractive place to work because of how we prioritize our efforts to go green.”
To learn more about Chick-fil-A's corporate social responsibility efforts, including how we prioritize sustainability throughout our business, visit our Giving Back page.