On May 15, 1940 McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California. Today, McDonald’s is the world’s largest fast food chain. Therefore, it is assumed their carbon footprint must be very large. However, McDonald’s, and multiple other fast food chains have started initiatives to lower their carbon footprint. Here are your favorite fast food chains and what they are doing to help the environment.
McDonald’s realizes that most of their greenhouse gas emissions comes from their restaurants’ use of electrical energy and natural gas. Therefore, they have focused on two areas within the restaurant, the heating/cooling systems and the cooking appliances, to improve their energy output. Their “restaurants in Canada have saved an estimated 27 million kWh and 1.47 million cubic meters of natural gas since 2005, which equates to 8,214 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions – equal to taking approximately 1,504 cars off the road for one year.”
Wendy’s is also highly focused on energy management. They have taken several steps to reduce their energy use. For example, they used LED lights for new and remodeled restaurants and parking lots, adopted ultra-high efficiency HVAC systems in new restaurant construction, and used energy efficient ENERGY STAR® certified kitchen equipment when possible.
Chic-fil-a has taken a different approach to reducing waste – with their employees’ uniforms. After doing much research, they decided they wanted to make the company employee uniforms entirely from recycled material and from materials sourced within the United States. Each red polo is made from 19 plastic bottles, and the blue polos are made from 9 plastic bottles. Chic-fil-a reports on their website, “Today the equivalent of more than 2.8 million recycled plastic bottles are clothing more than 100,000 restaurant team members across the country. This move makes Chick-fil-A team members among the first in fast food to wear shirts made from recycled plastic bottles.”
The easy to order pizza delivery chain Domino’s focuses only their delivery trucks to reduce their carbon footprint. In order to reduce fuel consumption, their delivery trucks do not exceed 45mph. The company also insists all waste oil is disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner. Besides from delivery trucks, their pizza boxes are 100% recyclable.