McDonald’s has opened its first-ever net zero emissions restaurant, which the company says is a “blueprint” for future branches.
The new branch, located in Market Drayton, Shropshire, has been designed to meet net zero emissions standards in both its construction and everyday operations.
Recycled materials feature heavily in the site, such as kerb stones made from recycled plastic bottles, a drive-thru lane made from recycled tyres, and building cladding made from recycled IT equipment and white household goods.
It also uses renewable power from two wind turbines and has 92 square meters of solar panels to reduce the amount of energy drawn from the grid. The walls are insulated using British sheep’s wool.
Wall signs in the branch are made from used coffee beans, while recycled polystyrene cups and potato starch are used in the wall art.
The restaurant also features a biodiversity garden and nature trail designed by children from Market Drayton Junior School. The garden will collect rainwater from the car park and provide a habitat for wildlife, said McDonald’s.
The new branch is part of McDonald’s quest to slash carbon emissions and become entirely carbon neutral across the world by 2050. However, in the UK and Ireland, the fast food company has set its net-zero target for a decade earlier, by 2040.
McDonald’s UK and Ireland currently operates around 1,400 restaurants, and plans to ensure all newly-built branches will be net zero by 2030.
The Market Drayton branch is the first in the UK set to be verified as net zero emissions for construction and daily operations by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC), said McDonald’s.
Simon McWhirter, director of communications, policy and places at the UKGBC, said: “The challenge of decarbonising the construction industry is a complex one, but McDonald’s commitment to building the first restaurant in the UK in line with UKGBC’s net zero carbon buildings framework is a critical first step.”
The fast food giant will continue serving beef on its menu at the net zero branch, as it does at all its other restaurants.
A spokesperson for McDonald’s said: “As with all of our restaurants, where possible we source within the UK and Ireland, including our 100 per cent British and Irish beef.
“We work with over 23,000 British and Irish farmers, growers and suppliers across the UK, and we work with pork and salad suppliers that are both local to Shropshire, as well as local dairies.”
Beth Hart, McDonald’s vice president of supply chain and brand trust, said in a statement: “At McDonald’s 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, enabling us to test and put into practice what a net zero emissions building, both in build and use, really looks like.
“We’ve already started to roll out some of these innovations to other restaurants,” she added.
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