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Caring for the Environment

From the food we sell to the buildings in which our iconic brand operates, our business affects the environment. In addition to maintaining compliance with applicable laws and regulations, our teams work diligently to ensure that our suppliers are also equally compliant.

Our Concern for Animals

We believe in and support efforts within our industry for responsible sourcing and improving the welfare of farm animals. When creating policies and practices related to farm animals we consider impacts on animal health and well-being, the environment, food safety, worker health and safety, consumer preferences and food affordability. We also rely on animal welfare experts to guide our policies:

  • Suzanne T. Millman, B.Sc.(Agr), Ph.D., Associate Professor of Animal Welfare, Iowa State University
  • Cassandra Tucker, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science, University of California
 All commitments are dependent on supplier capabilities. While regularly evolving, the following commitments are highlights of our dedication to animal welfare:

Cage-free eggs: 

  • United States: We have committed to an egg supply that is derived 100% from hens housed in a cage-free environment by 2025.
  • Latin America: We have committed to an egg supply that is derived 100% from hens housed in a cage free environment by 2025 conditioned upon supplier availability and consumer affordability.

Gestation crates:

  • United States: We have committed to a pork supply that does not use gestation crates by 2020.

IHOP accounts for only a small fraction of the animal-based products purchased each year, making our ability to impact industry-wide practices somewhat limited. Regardless, we will continue to explore opportunities to improve the treatment of farm animals within the context of our business and the industry.

The Environment

We’re regularly looking for new ways to reduce our impact on the environment through improvements in how we supply, design, build and maintain our restaurants. Our IHOP Restaurant Support Center in Glendale, California is housed in a LEED Certified building.

We gain valuable learning through various pilot programs and tests and will be expanding our learning in the coming years to many of our IHOP restaurants through a series of Green initiatives. Not all restaurants will be able to take advantage of every initiative, but we’re excited about this important and broad-reaching step.

2010 Green Initiatives* – IHOP

  • Automatic plumbing fixtures
  • Faucets that reduce water usage
  • Waterless urinals and/or very low flow (VLF) fixtures
  • Energy saving products
    • Devices that automatically turn off lights
    • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning controls that coordinate with kitchen equipment to maximize efficiency
  • Low volatile organic compounds (VOC) interior paint
  • Solar reflective windows
  • Greener cleaning products
  • Energy generated from renewable sources like wind, solar and geothermal

* Not all IHOP restaurants will implement all items


We source a large amount of paper and plastic goods for our restaurants. In choosing vendors, we not only consider quality and price, but we are also beginning to look at other factors, including:

  • How much recycled content was used
  • What type of bleaches and/or dyes were involved
  • What type of inks were used
  • Whether sustainable forestry and production practices were included

By working with vendors who share our interest in and commitment to good practices, we hope to — over time — improve the environmental attributes of the goods we purchase.

Strides in our “to go” orders: We have removed 95% of all polystyrene packaging products used and replaced it with 100% recyclable packaging. This allows safe and clean transport, as well as reduces our impact on the local landfills. We are currently working on the final products that will make us 100% polystyrene free.

Energy Consumption

We continue to work to reduce the energy consumption in our restaurants and at our restaurant support center, including:

  • Motion-activated lighting: Nearly all offices in our non-restaurant facilities have switches that automatically lower or turn off the lights if no movement is detected after a period of time.
  • Fluorescent lighting: Many of our restaurants are open late at night or 24 hours so we are mindful about eliminating lighting for security reasons. However, we have been aggressive about replacing traditional lighting with compact fluorescent lighting wherever possible.

Waste and Recycling

A number of our environmental programs focus on reducing waste generated by our operations. We are always looking for ways to eliminate, reuse or recycle potential waste. One example is the regular recycling of used cooking oil at most of our restaurants.