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McDonald’s China to focus on green restaurants, packaging

By WANG ZHUOQIONG | | Updated: 2018-11-02 19:57
McDonald's China announced on Oct 25 its action plan to focus on green restaurants and green packaging. The leading global chain restaurant is expected to open more than 1,800 green restaurants from the end of 2018 to 2022. [Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]

McDonald's China on Oct 25 announced its action plan to focus on green restaurants and green packaging.

The leading global chain restaurant is expected to open more than 1,800 green restaurants from the end of 2018 to 2022.

All of these restaurants will meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification standards in the "Interior Design & Construction" (ID&C) category, issued by the United States Green Building Council.

In addition, McDonald's China has promised to keep promoting green packaging -- by 2020, 100 percent of its fiber-based packaging will come from certified sources. McDonald's China will continue to actively reduce packaging materials, and from November 2018, solutions aimed at reducing straw use will be piloted in some restaurants in Beijing.

This year, McDonald's announced the initiative "Scale for Good on a Global Scale". Zhang Yichen, chairman of the McDonald's China Board, said: "With its accelerated growth, we believe that McDonald's China needs to shoulder more social responsibility. Sustainability should not be the competitive edge for one individual company, because real changes are only possible with partnership across and beyond the industry."

China is McDonald's third-largest market in the world, opening at least one new restaurant every day.

McDonald's China announced that from the end of 2018 to 2022, it will open more than 1,800 new green restaurants, which means over 95 percent of the new store portfolio will meet the LEED volume certification standards in ID&C.

The action aims at minimizing the environmental impact and promoting energy conservation and emission reductions, through location and design, materials and construction, and energy efficiency. McDonald's China developed and applied the first LEED volume certification in China, with the Asia-Pacific region's largest number of sites to be certified.

"By committing to using LEED on a volume scale for its more than 1,800 restaurants in China, McDonald's is making a bold commitment to sustainability," said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO of the US Green Building Council, the creators of LEED, and Green Business Certification Inc, the global body that certifies all LEED projects.

"McDonald's is creating a model for its stores that's not just about design, but also about performance — reducing waste and carbon emissions and creating indoor environments that will be healthier and more comfortable for their customers and employees."

For the existing restaurants, McDonald's China has been continuously updating and optimizing the energy management systems, including the use of LED energy-saving lamps, as well as more efficient air conditioning and kitchen equipment. Today, the average energy consumption in a McDonald's China restaurant was reduced by 30 percent, compared to 2013, and the company aims to lower the consumption by another 11 percent by 2022, compared to 2018 levels.

McDonald's China has announced three action plans for more responsible packaging and continuous reduction and optimization of materials, while ensuring a positive dining experience for customers. The plans involve actively reducing packaging materials and plastics as well as using 100 percent fiber-based packaging.

By October 2018, there were nearly 2,900 McDonald's restaurants with around 150,000 employees in mainland China. As of 2017, McDonald's has served over 1.3 billion customers in China.

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