Michelin Guide adds new green clover symbol to highlight sustainable restaurants

We’re betting Tokyo’s Narisawa and L'effervescence will get a green clover when the Japan awards are out in November

Written by
Jessica Thompson

Stars, plates, the Bib Gourmand, and now a green leaf – in a move to promote sustainable restaurants, the Michelin Guide has introduced a new distinction. The symbol, which resembles a four-leaf clover, recognises sustainable gastronomy and distinguishes restaurants that are taking responsibility in the conservation of resources and the protection of biodiversity, as well as in reduced consumption of non-renewable energy.

The sustainability emblem debuted at the Michelin awards ceremony in France earlier this year, with 50 restaurants receiving the accolade, followed by the Nordic region ceremony, with 27 restaurants from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Iceland being awarded. Restaurants can qualify for the green clover symbol if they have earned a star, Bib Gourmand or plate distinction.

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So far, some recipients include three-starred restaurant Mirazur for its permaculture gardens, two-starred David Toutain for its collaborations with environmentally conscious producers and craftsmen, and one-starred Septime for its bio-waste recycling program. 

The emblem sits alongside the guide’s Sustainability Award, introduced in 2019, both reflecting a movement in the hospitality industry to adopt more sustainable practices.

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“Faced with constantly evolving challenges including production methods, sourcing and waste management, chefs are striving to improve their practices,” says Gwendal Poullennec, international director of Michelin Guides, on the guide’s website.

Tokyo is currently the city with the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world – 230, compared with 113 in Paris. This year’s awards announcement for Japan isn’t until November, but we’ll be eagerly watching to see who makes the list. Our bets are on L'effervescence and Narisawa, which have both been commended for their efforts towards sustainability.

Heading out to a restaurant? Read our guide on how to go out safely in Tokyo here.

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