Ravinder Bhogal’s much-lauded restaurant Jikoni will become the first independent restaurant to achieve carbon-neutral status in the UK.
Speaking about the motivation behind the move, Bhogal explained that her upbringing in Kenya had instilled a responsibility within her to tred lightly on the planet’s resources. Explaining her position, Bhogal said:
'Growing up in Kenya I observed rural communities who live very gently and whose carbon impact is very low. They don’t have fridges, cars and so on, so it’s seems incredibly unfair to me that they are bearing the impact of our carbon consumption – especially those working in agriculture.
'While real solutions will require action on a global scale, we are all responsible for making choices in our day-to-day life to lessen our personal impact on the environment. Going carbon neutral at Jikoni is our small step in improving the world around us.'
Steps taken by the team at Jikoni to achieve the status – which they hope they will do by 30 June – include partnering with small-scale suppliers and paying particular attention to waste management. Ingredients will be exclusively sourced from local, sustainable businesses like Waltham Place biodynamic farm. The restaurant also works with eco-friendly group First Mile to ensure any non-recyclable waste from the restaurant and kitchen is used to generate green energy. The restaurant will also continue to be powered by green gas (driven by solar and wind energy) which it has relied on since 2019.
Despite Jikoni being the first small, independent restaurant to go after carbon neutrality, there are a few bigger name brands that are already doing it. Thomasina Miers’ Wahaca group is already carbon neutral, while the Gaucho chain hopes to be carbon-neutral by the end of next year. Additionally, healthy fast-food chain Leon launched a carbon neutral section on their menu back in January.
In other progressive news, the infamous Michelin guide also started to award ‘green stars’ for the first time earlier this year.
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