McDonald’s has opened the firm’s first UK net zero carbon restaurant. The building is powered by wind turbines and solar panels and is located in Market Drayton, Shropshire.
The building’s cladding was made using recycled IT equipment and household goods, while signs were created from used coffee beans. Insulation for the restaurant is provided by sheep wool.
The fast-food company said it would be used as a “blueprint” for other sites and work has started to roll it out.
‘Net zero’ means not adding to the amount of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.
McDonald’s new build is the first restaurant in the UK that is due to be verified as net zero emissions for construction using the UK Green Building Council’s (UKGBC’s) net zero carbon buildings framework.
The problems of decarbonising the construction industry were “complex”, but the move by McDonald’s was a “critical first step”, UKGBC spokesman Simon McWhirter said.
“We’ve already started to roll out some of these innovations to other restaurants, but what is exciting about Market Drayton is the fact it will act as a blueprint for our future new builds,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Beth Hart stated.
“We believe that our food needs to be served in restaurants that are sustainable for the future. Market Drayton is a big step towards making that a reality.” Hart expressed
Senior lecturer in the environment and sustainability at Keele University, Dr Sharon George, said the move was a “positive step” and a sign that the company was recognising that “society’s view of sustainability” was changing.
McDonald’s and other fast food suppliers have previously come under fire from investors who signed a letter asking the firms to reduce the carbon footprint of their meat and dairy supply chains.
The firm has said it has put in place strong climate targets for suppliers. This step towards a greener future for the fast food brand should send a shockwave through the community.