There are many things I think about when I think of McDonalds, and being green isn’t one of them. According to an article on Sustainable Life Media, McDonalds has released their green – sustainable best practices, with the urging that their customers vote for “best of the best”. The report apparently highlights over 80 best practices from numerous McDonald’s markets that cover initiatives such as energy reduction, green packaging design, customer engagement on environmental issues, and greener supply chain management. Here are some of the highlights from the article:
Information and inspiration through innovative software – McDonald’s France’s use of an interactive software, EcoProgress, to manage and reduce energy usage in the restaurant, achieved an 11% savings in electricity for participating restaurants over the same three month period between 2007 and 2006.
Water conservation in Australia – McDonald’s Australia has implemented a variety of water conservation measures including extensive landscaping and smart irrigation practices. Advanced stormwater retention tanks can save almost four million liters of water over a 20-year period.
Supporting the development of Biodiesel – In Brazil, Chile and Argentina, McDonald’s has partnered with local organizations that transform used cooking oil into biodiesel. Currently, 270 restaurants in these markets deliver their used oil to be converted into biodiesel, representing over 1,000,000 liters of oil to date.
Creating a gold standard for green design – In August, 2008, McDonald’s USA opened its first corporate-owned pilot green restaurant and received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification in April, 2009. This “green building lab” in Chicago will help McDonald’s USA refine its green building strategy and identify practices that can be incorporated into future restaurants.
Engaging our employees and consumers on climate change – McDonald’s Japan participates in the Japanese government’s Team Minus 6% program to reduce CO2 emissions by 1kg per person, per day, by offering a discount to consumers who registered to participate in the program. During the 2007 campaign, McDonald’s Japan helped raise the number of participants from 40,000 to 380,000.
Uh, I don’t think so.
The idea of? “green-washing” really gets under my skin, but on some levels I think any step to raise the consciousness is a good one. A fellow designer (Ronny Bagdadi ) posted this message in response to asking the community what they thought and I think his words sum it up quite niceley:
All life depends on topsoil, the thin layer of nutrient-rich earth. 200 years ago the US had 21 inches of topsoil, today we have about 6 inches left. About 6000 sq. miles of land are cleared every year to raise livestock or about 10,000 acres/day. Land clearing leads to topsoil running off into the rivers and sea. It takes about 500 years for nature to create 1″ of topsoil. One lb of California beef requires 5200 gallons of water; one lb. of lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes or corn each require 24 gallons.
Going vegetarain is the most powerful way to protect the environment, and to prevent needless suffering of millions of sentient beings with nervous systems and brains just like ours. Going to SF on the 5N one is overwhelmed by the stench of filth and death as one drives past “Cowschwitz”
When McD’s stops selling flesh it will be green, until then it’s PR/marketing BS sold to naive folk.
I have always supported “little steps…” among those that are just waking up to the global consciousness. On some levels, this is that step, even though we are talking about McDonalds. I suppose if they are exposing and awaking consciousness to the importance of green issues among those who don’t have a channel to that info, that’s positive. Next step might be “McDonalds the Vegetarian Restaurant”…After that, I can only hope…
However in the great scope of things, I don’t believe McDonalds gives a shit about anything but thier bottom line.