Sustainability at BREATHE

BREATHE is highly geared towards increasing its sustainably and respect towards the environment and this is how they do it…


The new restaurant concept aims to eliminate their purchasing and selling of single-use plastics. The global environment is being destroyed by the widespread and thoughtless use of single-use plastics, and in this respect they can make a difference both in the restaurant and the wider community. The point is not to take credit, but to change perception and help influence widespread change. Breathe do not sell nor offer plastic straws, plastic coffee cups, plastic bags, plastic utensils etc., even though commercial incentive promotes plastics. They take measures to avoid purchasing plastic packaging wherever possible, including pressuring suppliers to avoid unnecessary plastic packaging. They still face many challenges reducing the consumption of single-use plastics in their business (wrapped-in-plastic is deep rooted in our society!) and need your help to improve this. Wherever possible, they substitute plastic products with paper, cardboard, natural materials or plastic alternatives with greatly improved composability, such as PLA (plant based starch).


Breathe’s Company policy is to recycle as much as possible. Plastics & recyclable containers, glass, paper & cardboard and general waste are all separated and placed in designated recycling/waste bins. They are looking to recycle food waste as compost, using organic wastage from food preparation as compost for their farm or other local farms. Breathe use recycled paper for their menus, recycled toilet paper, bio bamboo and recycled paper napkins. Additionally, they recycle what they can from any paper waste.


The farm-to-table movement developed in response to globalization and industrial production practices and the growing consciousness of food safety, sustainable practices and environmental appreciation. The core of the concept is literally about cutting out the middle-man and sourcing healthy and environmentally-friendly products directly from farmers and original producers. Breathe are doing this for almost all of their fruit and vegetables, some meats, fish, beer, wines, milk and more. The concept also extends to the process of food preparation, embracing more traditional and artisan methods to prepare food in order to improve quality and reduce the reliance on industrial processes.


Breathe use a very high percentage of KM0 products, drastically reducing their carbon footprint. The food industry is responsible for a very large chunk of global transportation-related environmental harm. Almost all of their fresh fruit and vegetable products come from farms in and around Marbella, mostly organic. Same with their beer! If they can’t buy top quality products locally, they prefer to buy from Spain rather than source international products (with some notable indulgent exceptions). Their menu changes daily, largely in response to local market availability and seasonality.


Breathe only serves KM0 water. They purify town supply water through a process of decalcification, dichlorination, reserve osmosis and UV sterilization then remineralize it to create top quality water. Then they bottle the water in reusable glass bottles. These processes drastically reduce the environmental impact of the water bottling industry, including non-recyclable bottle manufacturing, high water and energy consumption and the negative environmental impacts of the transport industry. A common argument against osmosis is that the process wastes a lot of water. With modern machinery, such as Breathe’s, the waste is reduced to about 50%. But in their case, the “wasted” water is diverted to their irrigation tank, to be used on their plants. 


Breathe have their very own geothermal energy system, AKA ground source heat pump system. The system consists of deposit tank pump room in level -3 and a closed circuit of water/coolant mix which passes though 12 x 120m-deep vertical perforations into the earth, thus utilizing the year-round ambient temperature of the earth to either heat (in winter) or cool (in summer) the Breathe building. The geothermal system provides all of their air conditioning (both hot and cold), underfloor heating and domestic hot water for the entire Breathe building. The system operates at a Coefficient of Performance (CoP) of around 5 or 6, which ranks it amongst the most efficient energy sources (air source heat pumps operate at a CoP of around 2).


Marbella’s not the wettest place on earth, which is why Breathe built a 9,000 litre rainwater catchment to collect rainwater from their terraces, to be used as irrigation for their plants. 


Breathe’s extensive urban planting assists the reversal of the general global trends of deforestation and the construction of concrete jungles. Over 7000 plants in the BREATHE project really do help to consume CO2 and produce fresh O2, oxygenating the air while at the same time cooling it through transpiration (look it up). During planting they added hydro-fertilisers to the soil, which reduce the need for irrigation by around 50-80%.


Breathe are using chemical-free NASA technology to alter the properties of water at specific outlets in order to temporarily convert it to an aggressive yet safe cleaning agent. After a few hours, the water reverts to its original properties and is completely harmless (it is then water). This technology allows them to drastically reduce the amount of chemicals they use and send down the drains. For cleaning products that are not suitably replaced by this “water”, they use biodegradable and environmentally safe alternatives to traditional cleaning products.