McDonald’s is getting green as a franchise owner in Cary, North Carolina will be opening the doors to his restaurant’s sustainable design and hopes to encourage others to follow his lead.

Ric Richards, the owner and operator, is opening the first LEED-certified McDonald’s in North Carolina and only the third of its kind in the country (certification pending), reports QSR.

How is McDonald’s taking on sustainability?

Scheduled to open its doors on July 14, this McDonald’s is going after a LEED Gold rating — which could earn up to 43-44 LEED credits. The sustainability is in the design of the restaurant.

Sustainable features:

  • Natural daylighting (with 19 Solatube lights)
  • LED lighting
  • An awning made of solar panels
  • Energy Star rated kitchen equipment
  • Water saving features (with plans to save 550,000 gallons of water per year)
  • Ceiling grid (made of 60-80 per cent of recyclable materials)
  • Electrical vehicle charging and bike racks
  • More energy-efficient than the standard McDonald’s (saving 24 per cent of energy use)

“Sustainable and environment-friendly elements can be found throughout the store, from the countertops to the restrooms to the dining room décor,” reports QSR, “Even the old location, which was razed to make room for the new, was demolished in a green manner: 99.1 percent of it was used or recycled.”

The best part? McDonald’s has plans to build 25 LEED restaurants over the next three years, according to Triangle Business Journal.

The sustainability trend is being picked up by a few other fast food restaurants

The effort is being made to achieve high standards for energy savings, water efficiency, emissions reduction and other environmental attributes, according to The Daily Green.

With fast food chains like Subway also getting sustainable, the future of fast food is certainly looking greener.

For those interested to see how their own businesses are doing in terms of energy efficiency, there is an Energy Audit available.


Image credit: stopherjonesM