McDonald’s opens its first net-zero restaurant

McDonald's Sign

McDonald’s has opened what it believes to be the UK’s first net-zero restaurant. The McDonald’s restaurant in Market Drayton, Shropshire, will act as a blueprint for future restaurants around the country improving the franchises carbon footprint hopefully across the globe.

McDonald's Meal

The restaurant, which features the latest innovations in sustainable building design throughout, was purposefully designed to retain the familiar McDonald’s look and feel to ensure that it can be replicated as the company looks to revolutionise the way it designs new and existing restaurants in order to achieve net-zero emissions for all 1,400 restaurants and offices by 2030.

However, there are some aspects that are not carbon-neutral such as the menu items with beef being responsible for around 30% of the company’s carbon footprint.

What is net-zero?

Net-zero is the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas created and eliminated from the atmosphere. When the amount we contribute equals the amount taken away, net-zero has been reached.

This new style restaurant includes:

  • Renewable power from wind turbines and solar panels
  • Walls insulated with British sheep’s wool
  • Building cladding made from recycled IT equipment and white household goods
  • Wall signs made from McDonald’s used coffee beans
  • Kerbs stones are each made from recycled plastic bottles
  • A Drive-Thru lane which has been made from recycled tyres
  • A biodiversity garden and nature trail 

Plan for Change…

McDonald’s is launching the Market Drayton restaurant as part of its Plan for Change, a new business and environmental strategy aimed at helping the company achieve its goal of net-zero emissions across its whole UK and Ireland business, including its value chain, by 2040.

Wall art constructed from recycled polystyrene cups, glued in place with potato starch from McDonald’s potatoes, electric vehicle charging points, and furniture made from 100% recyclable materials are among the other innovations at Market Drayton. This is the next step in McDonald’s plan to have all new and renovated restaurants’ furnishings produced from recycled or certified materials and designed to be recycled or reused by 2023. 

Yorkshire and Humberside Energy Award

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