Bloomin’ Brands is the publicly traded parent company of Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, and Aussie Grill. They own and operate more than 1,450 restaurants worldwide, some of which are franchise locations.
In recent years, Bloomin’ Brands has faced increased interest from investors and board members in their environmental sustainability strategy. The Bloomin’ Brands sustainability team decided to allocate intentional time and effort into understanding their base-level emissions and to set targets for emissions reductions across their organization.
The team wanted to ensure that the data they had was accurate before setting targets, given their current resources. In addition, it was imperative that the company’s management and Board of Directors vetted Optera and its practices to ensure the methodology met rigorous public company standards.
- Gather and analyze full Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions data to understand baseline emissions and set ambitious, yet realistic, targets
- Understand which restaurant locations had the highest emissions and why
- Outline pathways to reach targets and understand which pathways to prioritize based on factors such as investment, cost savings, changes in productivity, return on investment timing, and overall long-term emissions reduction impact
In 2021, Bloomin’ Brands implemented ESG Insights — Optera’s carbon management and accounting software for Scopes 1, 2, and 3 — to gather and analyze their emissions data in one centralized location.
Beyond calculating overall emissions, the data granularity in the platform enabled them to:
- Compare emissions per restaurant and against the average
- Understand emissions per scope
- Track current emissions against targets
- View critical information, including data sources, year of source, emissions factors, and calculation methods
Backed by this data and supported by the expertise of Optera’s client services team, Bloomin’ Brands set their SBT-aligned targets to reduce their Scope 1 & 2 emissions by 46.2% by 2030 (from a 2019 base year). Once they affirmed their targets, they began taking action to achieve their goal.
To get started, Bloomin’ Brands quickly identified their highest and lowest emitters within the platform. One of the most useful insights their new data uncovered was that their use of natural gas represented a significant portion of their scope 1 emissions. Bloomin’ Brands saw this as a strategic place to focus its initial efforts.
For scope 2, they dug deeper into energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and explored the various ways in which they could reduce their energy consumption and/or make it more efficient.
Along the way, Optera experts helped the Bloomin’ Brands team understand the data and developed different pathways and top-line cost estimates for the company to reach their scope 1 & 2 targets.
To date, Bloomin’ Brands has made progress by upgrading to more efficient cooking, heating, cooling, and lighting equipment in their restaurants. For example, they began equipping select restaurants with ENERGY STAR® certified equipment, high-efficiency HVAC units with smart thermostats, and LED lighting.
These projects were just the start. In the near future, Bloomin’ Brands will work with the Optera team and ESG Insights platform to further improve their emissions data accuracy, drive deeper sustainability engagement across their organization, and continue to invest in energy efficiency projects. Additionally, the Bloomin’ Brands team is actively exploring renewable energy opportunities that align financial and environmental objectives and that can be scaled across domestic and international operations.
For more information on Bloomin’ Brand’s commitment to the environment, and to stay up-to-date on their current projects, check out the sustainability section on their website.
Interested in how Optera can help your company? Get in touch with our team today.