McDonald's Shares Green Practices Reports

McDonald’s Corp. released its 2012 Global Best of Green report last week, which illustrates annual progress the company has made in its facilities around the world in eight categories tied to sustainability. These are: energy, packaging, anti-littering, recycling, logistics, communications, green building, and greening the workplace.

“I’m proud of the progress in all these areas and I’m especially excited to see the number of impactful advancements in energy/carbon reduction and green building—two of our key planet priorities,” said Bob Langert, McDonald’s vice president of Sustainability.

Highlights of the report include:

  • A maintenance technician at a McDonald’s restaurant in Brazil suggested reusing condensation generated by the air conditioning unit. The resulting collection, storage and reuse system provided water for plants and cleaning external areas, and reduced daily water consumption by 15%.
  • Restaurant crew at McDonald’s restaurants in the UK created new environmental best practices, leading to key changes including a 20% increase in cardboard recycling.
  • In the energy arena, McDonald’s USA has made a commitment to match 30% of its electricity use at company owned restaurants in 2012 with renewable energy credits from U.S. wind sources. Renewable energy credits help fund the development of new renewable energy resources to increase the amount of available clean energy for everyone.
  • McDonald’s focus on sustainable meetings is illustrated by actions at the 2011 gathering of 16,000 U.S. owner/operators, restaurant managers, staff and suppliers. More than half the waste stream was diverted and 1.35 tons of waste kept out of the landfill through soap/amenity recycling. Additional recycling initiatives kept more than 85 tons out of the landfill.

McDonald’s collaborated with key external stakeholders to recognize “best of the best” actions by selecting “Planet Champions” for each report category. The selection committee included representatives from BSR, Ceres, Conservation International, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and McDonald’s. They made their selections based on the level of innovation, environmental and business impacts, scalability, and business integration.

The 2012 McDonald’s “Planet Champions” are:
Energy: McDonald’s Europe’s innovative carbon footprint measurement “toolkit” sets the stage for identifying future carbon reduction opportunities.

Packaging: McDonald’s Canada’s switch to unbleached napkins and bags leads to positive environmental, customer, and cost savings impacts.

Anti-Littering: Through a focus on litter reduction for more than 20 years, McDonald’s Australia works to establish a leadership position by engaging its restaurant employees, staff, and customers to control the impacts of litter around restaurants in Australia.

Recycling & Waste Reduction: McDonald’s Austria achieves a 95% recycling rate in its restaurants with the McRecycle(R) program.

Logistics: McDonald’s entire fleet of supply trucks in the UAE currently run on 100% biodiesel, made from vegetable oil recycled from McDonald’s restaurants.

Communications: For McDonald’s restaurant employees in Spain, environmental training is a core element of orientation and training.

Greening the Restaurants: McDonald’s USA plans to build 25 additional LEED certified restaurants by 2015 through its participation in the LEED Volume Program.

Greening the Restaurants: The first green restaurant in Pilar, Argentina, built by Arcos Dorados, McDonald’s development licensee in Latin America, becomes the first new building in the country to receive LEED Gold for New Construction certification.

Greening the Workplace: McDonald’s Japan helps nearly 5,500 of its crew members achieve a 15% reduction in their power usage from July through September 2011.

Suppliers Also Recognized

Meanwhile, McDonald’s released its 2012 Best of Sustainable Supply report. There are 51 projects featured in the document.

And in other supplier recognition activities, McDonald’s bestowed its first ever Supplier Sustainability Award to DuPont Building Innovations for its achieving zero landfill status for its operations—reducing its landfill waste from 81 million pounds to zero, after three years of focused effort. The award was given by the U.S. Restaurant Development (USRD) department of McDonald’s

DuPont Building Innovations is the leading supplier of solid surfacing material for McDonald’s restaurants throughout the United States.

Jim Carras, senior vice president of USRD for McDonald’s, said, “In keeping with McDonald’s priorities, we developed our new Supplier Sustainability Award as a way to recognize suppliers that demonstrate leadership and provide us with products and services that contribute to the environmental sustainability of our restaurants. We congratulate DuPont Building Innovations on being the first company to be recognized with this award for their environmental stewardship.”


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