The new restaurant chain Otarian, currently opening in New York City and London, and hoping to make people think about carbon when they eat. Every item on their menu has the associated carbon footprint listed next to, so that when you are trying to decide between the burger and the veggie patty, the environmental impact can become part of your decision making process. Otarian has worked with the carbon reduction company Sustain to determine the carbon footprint of every ingredient of every menu item, with all of the numbers based off of PAS 2050, the carbon footprint standard developed by the UK government. Otarian also set out to make sure that all of their ingredients were as local and earth friendly as possible, avoiding shipping products from across the globe. While this may seem at first a sort of novelty, this type of self reporting is going to become the norm. People are going to start demanding to know the impact of their actions, and the hidden environmental shadow of the things they buy. In fact, psfk stated it very well in their article about Otarian:
With social media and mobile technologies providing increased access to this information, this overt decision to be transparent is quickly becoming a precondition to doing business in a connected world, as more consumers attempt to understand exactly what it is they’re buying. While this is a situation that brands can choose to ignore in the immediate, that window is shrinking, and long term success appears to be wedded to not only participating in this conversation, but showing a willingness to change things for the better.
Transparency is the future, and it is best for companies to start opening up, before the public pries them open.