What McDonald’s is Doing to Taste Green

A rebuilt McDonald’s restaurant in Riverside, Calif., became the first McDonald’s west of the Mississippi, and the fourth in the U.S., to seek LEED Gold certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

The restaurant, located at 2242 University Avenue, opened to the public Thursday, Oct. 14. 

Among the other corporate initiatives to embrace green practices, Whirlpool Corporation has announced plans to build an approximately 1 million square foot manufacturing facility for built-in, premium cooking products in Cleveland, Tennessee.

The energy-efficient, LEED-certified facility will replace the existing, 100-year old manufacturing plant located at 740 King Edward Avenue, South East. (Read: Whirlpool Manufacturing Facility to Add Jobs)

Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, TD Bank’s Auburn Call Center will provide customer service from Maine to Florida. (Read: TD Bank Opens New Green Call Center)

The Courtyard Charleston/ Summerville in South Carolina will be the first hotel built using Marriott International’s green hotel prototype, says Marriott. It is being made in partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

This is expected to accelerate the company’s goal to have 300 LEED hotels by 2015. (Read: Would You Prefer to Stay in a Green Hotel?)

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The McDonald’s restaurant building, which is owned and operated by Tom and Candace Spiel and has stood as a McDonald’s restaurant for 44 years, reopened more sustainable and energy-efficient with a host of “green” features including:

  • Light colored hardscape to reduce heat emissions from site
  • Native drought tolerant plants to reduce water consumption by landscape
  • Low flow plumbing fixtures to reduce water usage
  • 294 photovoltaic panels to generate a percentage of the restaurant’s power consumption
  • Recycled denim insulation inside the building

The restaurant features an interactive touch screen display for visitors to learn about the building, environmental sustainability, and how individuals can reduce their carbon footprint.  

Other LEED-certified McDonald’s restaurants are located in Cary, N.C., Savannah, Ga. and Chicago. The Riverside restaurant expects to receive LEED certification within one year.

“We were inspired to build a McDonald’s restaurant that highlights the green focus of Riverside: California’s first Emerald City,” said Candace Spiel, McDonald’s owner/operator.

“We are so proud of this restaurant and its possibilities to encourage and educate our customers and community on the importance of environmental sustainability.”

Both Tom and Candace are members of the McDonald’s Operators’ Association of Southern California, which is comprised of more than 120 small business owners in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura.

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Rakesh Raman