McDonalds Recognizes Sustainable Innovation

Sustainable life media logo2 As one of the world's largest chain fast food restaurants, McDonald's may not be the most obvious "green business", but still has the capability to make a significant impact when it does take on sustainable practices. Yesterday, McDonald's announced their "Global Best of Green" and "Best of Sustainable Supply," two initiatives that highlight the green practices taking place at their restaurants.

Posted May 4, 2010
By Thomas Miner, Sustainable Life Media

McDonald’s Corporation announced today their “Global Best of Green” and
“Best of Sustainable Supply”, two programs updated from 2009 which
showcase sustainable innovations happening at the fast food giant and
highlight sustainable best practices found in its supply chain and

The best practices by McDonalds and their supply chain partners can be
downloaded and viewed by PDF or can be accessed on a new interactive
By utilizing the search criteria provided by the company, consumers can
drill down into case studies, which are produced internally by
employees involved in the projects, and offer an interesting view into
the focus of McDonald’s sustainability efforts.

Some highlights of the best practices include:

  • Harnessing the wind: In the U.K.,
    supplier McCain Foods uses wind turbines at a French fry
    factory to provide up to 60 percent of the annual electrical power
    required to operate the plant annually, reducing CO2 emissions by 10,000
    tons in 2009. When the plant is not operating, surplus electricity is
    sold back to the National Grid.
  • Potato energy: In Austria, McDonald's supplier Frisch and Frost takes
    the solid by-product from potatoes and converts it into gas, and the
    residue from that process is delivered to farmers who use it as a
    natural fertilizer. The facility produces about 6 GWh energy per year,
    which supplies 2,000 houses with electricity and saves 30 percent of
    on-site electricity.
  • Optimizing oil recycling: More than half of the McDonald's restaurants
    in the U.S. participate in an innovative
    oil recycling program
    , resulting in the recycling of nearly 13,000
    pounds of used cooking oil per restaurant each year.
  • Greening the Restaurants: McDonald's Europe's many green initiatives
    are seeing success, including the installation of solar panels,
    windmills, heat recovery systems and recyclable building materials. In
    "Green City," the McDonald's UK Environmental Sustainability Initiative
    in Sheffield, 11 restaurants send their waste to an energy-recovery
    facility and test environmentally-friendly technologies. The "Green
    Zone" in Umea, Sweden is a building project developed to conserve
    natural resources without compromising function or comfort. There,
    customers find an eco-designed roadside area providing car service
    facilities with a food store and a McDonald's restaurant.

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