The world’s first vegetarian restaurant is ClimatePartner certified
It was gout that drove Ambrosius Hiltl to the "Vegetarians’ Home and Temperance Café" in Zurich, originally founded in 1898. His doctor had recommended that he give up meat, and this change in diet brought him the hoped-for recovery after only a short time. Hiltl took over the business in 1904, and the fomer “bunker for grass eaters” has grown into a restaurant group employing around 300 people from over 80 nations. It even holds the Guinness World Record as the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world. The vegetarian and vegan dishes, which are prepared fresh daily in the company's own kitchen, can be enjoyed at HILTL restaurants and as event catering. Now into a fourth generation, the company maintains values that go far beyond the health aspects of a vegetarian diet: helping people, valuing animals, and protecting our planet. For HILTL, this ecological responsibility is an integral part of its business model.
As a restaurant whose offerings are already more than 80 percent plant based, HILTL already has the best prerequisites when it comes to climate action. After all, as a study by Oxford University recently confirmed, a plant-based diet performs significantly better than a meat-based diet in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, land use, and biodiversity loss. In addition, HILTL has been focusing on local procurement for many years, with twelve seasonal changes per year, as well as using packaging made from recycled materials and combatting food waste with "Too Good To Go".
In order to take its climate and environmental impact to the next level and make its climate action activities more quantifiable, HILTL started working with ClimatePartner. The company has been ClimatePartner certified since 2023. In addition to calculating the company's carbon footprint, the prerequisite for this is defining long-term reduction targets and continuously implementing reduction measures.
HILTL's goal is to reduce its carbon footprint by 15% by 2025. The company aims to achieve this with measures including:
- Halving airfreight from 2.8% to 1.4% of total tonne-kilometres thanks to lower-emission means of transport
- Reducing food waste by 15% annually through regular analysis and optimisation of the production process
- Using 100% biogas and renewable electricity
- Reducing electricity consumption by 2% annually by switching to LED lighting
- Increasing the proportion of vegan dishes by the recipe development team
In addition, HILTL financially contributes to three climate projects, enabling carbon emissions to the amount of its carbon footprint to be avoided. Among the projects is a combined project that contributes to fund a certified climate project and additionally supports nature conservation in Switzerland, in line with HILTL's philosophy of also making a meaningful contribution locally and regionally.
Through its Climate ID page and sustainability page on its website HILTL makes its entire climate action commitment transparent and traceable.
"Conscious action is an integral part of our business model, we embrace our pioneering role and set a good example with the support of our partners and ClimatePartner. We are constantly challenging the status quo and continuously improving to do our part for a livable future for generations to come."