January 1, 2023
MAX Burgers has worked with ZeroMission for 15 years. They are a family-owned business and want to continue that way for at least another four generations.
Max have always been ahead of the curve when it comes to climate, from being the first restaurant to have a climate labeled menu in 2008, to launching Climate Positive at COP25 in Madrid. Their climate work is based on three pillars: Measure, Reduce and Remove.
Since 2008, MAX has been using the ISO14021 method to calculate their whole value chain: from the farmers land to the guests hand, few in the restaurant industry know more about their climate impact that MAX Burgers. Having such a comprehensive understanding of where emissions come from has put MAX in the best place to reduce them.
79% of MAX’s emissions come from their food, and that is where action is being taken. It began with a target: to make ever other meal sold not red meat by 2023. Achieving this takes a lot of R&D to produce the best tasting meals with the lowest climate impact. But after the Green Family became the most successful product launch in the company history, eating Green never tasted so good.
Since 2008, MAX has been purchasing carbon credits from Plan Vivo certified projects in the global south. They now support small holder farmers in Uganda, Nicaragua and Mexico and have financed the removal of 1,609,854 tonnes of CO2 to date. Click on the boxes below to learn more about the projects.
MAX started collaborating with TGB in 2008 and has so far compensated for
1 150 211 tCO2e.
MAX started collaborating with CommuniTree in 2019 and has so far compensated for 217 963 tCO2e.
Yes. These Plan Vivo projects focus on the reforestation of degraded landscapes, sequestering carbon in the process. Sometimes, trees are felled at specific times to give the landholders timber for use as long term building materials. After felling, a new tree is planted in its place and complete regrowth can occur in just 20 years. The whole system is managed and continuously monitored to ensure it meets the Plan Vivo standard. The climate benefit, management system and economic records also receive a third-party audit at least every 5 years.
We can never be certain that the trees will definitely be standing in centuries to come, however everything is done to incentivize the landholders to keep the trees. The species planted and the agroforestry systems used are selected to give long term benefits way after the carbon payments and contract end. For example, the fruit trees that have been sequestering carbon will be providing large harvests of fruit and the native trees growing in coffee plantations provide the optimum amount of shade for top quality and high yield coffee beans. The only way to keep trees standing is to make them more valuable standing than cut down.
Risks of fire, drought, and other extreme weather events are unfortunately becoming more frequent and severe as our planet warms. But these are risks we are all well aware of and they are taken into account at every step of project development and implementation. 20% of carbon stored by all Pan Vivo projects is not sold and kept in a ‘buffer’ to act as an insurance carbon stock for if any unexpected events occur.
Depending on the species, It takes approximately 20-40 years for a tree to become fully grown. Meanwhile, the effect of anthropogenic emissions are calculated based on their impact over a hundred-year period, a method that has been decided and agreed upon by the UNFCCC. This means that the timescales for tree growth and emission measurement overlap by at least 80 years and thus claiming to have offset today is reasonable. As the trees grow, they also contribute to climate adaptation and ecosystem services in the vulnerable places the projects operate in.
No. The small scale farmers who participate in Plan Vivo do so voluntarily and make the best decisions for their own land. Before the project starts, project developers create a land use plan to ensure their needs are met. In addition, some species which give the land holder carbon payments also produce food, and those that don’t produce food increase the yield of other crops so these projects are more likely to increase food security than decrease it.
No. By purchasing carbon credits, MAX is taking direct responsibility for its emissions, while simultaneously working to reduce its climate impact. The most recent IPCC report shows that only reducing emissions is no longer enough, we must also remove warming gasses from the atmosphere. Everyone must do as much as they can to contribute to mitigating climate change. If MAX had not purchased these credits, the cumulative emissions in the atmosphere would be higher.
An important criterion for assessing whether carbon projects are beneficial about if the climate benefit is additional or would these actions have happened anyway? In all standards for carbon projects, there are criteria directed at addressing this issue. The Plan Vivo project MAX invests in can be seen to have high additionality, especially as some of the beneficiaries of the project are living below the poverty line. The money MAX gives to these projects can do a long way, making real difference to people’s daily lives and enabling them to mitigate and adapt to climate change.