Panera says it is the first national restaurant company to label climate-friendly "Cool Food Meals" on its menu—those meals that have a low impact on the climate, making them a delicious way to help the planet. More than half of Panera entrees are Cool Food Meals—including guest favorites like the Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt, 10 Vegetable Soup, Fuji Apple Chicken Salad – and even Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

Just like recommended calories per day, WRI has established a maximum recommended daily carbon footprint for a person's diet, which is 38 percent smaller than the current average.  This is in line with what WRI research finds is needed by 2030 to help mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. And, just as Panera was the first to label calories on its menu, the company is now the first to label low carbon entrees (Cool Food Meals as designated by WRI) — menu items that have a low impact on the climate and can help keep you below your daily limit.

"At Panera, we are passionate about keeping the customer at the heart of everything we do, and that includes giving our guests choices to lower their impact on climate change through the food they eat in our bakery-cafes. With 55% of Panera entrees certified as Cool Food Meals, our guests have many options for delicious food with a lower carbon footprint, from salads to soups to sandwiches," says Niren Chaudhary, Chief Executive Officer, Panera Bread.   "Understanding the impact of what we eat on the environment is one way we can all take a small step toward combatting climate change—so as a food company, we feel a strong responsibility to share this information and empower our guests to help make a difference."

In general, plant-based foods have a lower impact on the environment than meals with meat and dairy ingredients; however, you don't have to be vegan or vegetarian to keep your carbon footprint down – it's also the amount of these foods on your plate that matters.  If, each year, every person in the U.S. swapped in just 10 Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt sandwiches with chips for 10 quarter-pound burgers with fries, it would reduce emissions by 77 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. This is equivalent to taking more than 16 million passenger vehicles off the road for a year.

"By labeling Cool Food Meal menu items, we hope to educate our guests on sustainable options and help them understand the correlation between their meals and the climate. While many consumers are more aware of solutions such as driving less and recycling – the impact of your plate is real and just as important," said Sara Burnett, VP of Food Values, Sustainability & Public Affairs, Panera Bread.  "By making simple changes and choosing between some of our delicious climate-friendly meals, you can help our planet – we hope our guests will feel great about their climate-friendly choice the next time they enjoy our Fuji Apple Salad, Baja Grain Bowl or Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt."

"The science is clear that we're not going to be able to address climate change without changing what we eat. But that doesn't mean that eating for the planet has to be boring," says Daniel Vennard, Director of Sustainable Diets at World Resources Institute. "Cool Food Meals have a low impact on the climate, making them a delicious way to help the planet. This new certification is about spotlighting the dishes that help people build climate-friendly lifestyles."

To learn more and for a full list of Panera Cool Food menu items, visit PaneraBread.com/CoolFoodMeals, or order a Cool Food Meals choice now at delivery.panerabread.com.  To learn more about the science behind the Cool Food Meal label, visit CoolFood.org/consumer.

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