Super Size sustainability

The Virtual Energy Forum concluded on Dec. 11 with its second day of online workshops and presentations. Speaking at the conference was Bob Langert, vice president for corporate responsibility for McDonalds. Langert’s conversation with moderator Lou Canellis focused on “Adding business value through energy management and sustainability”.

12/12/2008


The Virtual Energy Forum concluded on Dec. 11 with its second day of online workshops and presentations. Speaking at the conference was Bob Langert, vice president for corporate responsibility for McDonalds. Langert’s conversation with moderator Lou Canellis focused on “Adding business value through energy management and sustainability”.

McDonald’s spends more than $1.5 billion a year around the world to power its restaurants. About 80% of an average restaurant’s energy use is devoted to heating and cooling systems and running cooking appliances. Lighting also consumes a large portion of energy.

"Energy is really our No. 1 issue. When you look at the dollars we spend, and the impact we have on the environment and the progress we can make to do better, and use our size and influence to make a difference, its energy" said Langert.


Langert and McDonalds are addressing energy management issues on a number of fronts:

• McDonalds is running a pilot project with a handful of recently built green restaurants. The one completed in Chicago in August has a green roof, a permeable parking lot, a 20,000-gallon underground cistern to capture runoff water, LED lighting outside, and a daylight harvesting system inside. Elsewhere green stores are planned for Brazil, France, Canada and Germany.
• Internally, it provides employee education and operates a popular Energy All-Star recognition program that showcases innovations, best practices, and outstanding efforts on the part of workers.
• Externally, the company requires its suppliers to join McDonald's in working to improve any aspect of their business operation that affects the environment. The company does not mandate goals, but does require suppliers to provide annual measurements to McDonald's in four environmental areas: energy use, water consumption, waste and recycling, and air pollution.





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