A collaboration between fast food giant McDonald’s and the UK Green Building Council has delivered the chain’s first British net-zero carbon restaurant, powered by on-site solar and on-site wind energy generators.
McDonald’s said late last week that the Market Drayton restaurant, which would act as a blueprint for future McDonald’s buildings around the country, would be powered largely by two wind turbines and 92 square metres of solar panels, producing 60,000kWh of electricity a year.
Already, McDonald’s in the UK and Ireland had committed to purchasing only 100% renewable electricity for use in its restaurants, and to recycling the used cooking oil from its kitchens into biodiesel to help fuel its trucks.
Beyond the renewable power sources, the restaurant has installed EV charging points, insulated its walls with British sheep’s wool that was otherwise headed to landfill, and used cladding made from recycled IT equipment and household white goods.
Concrete kerbs have been swapped out for kerbs made of recycled plastic bottles – an effort that diverted more than 200,000 plastic bottles from landfill; while the Drive-Thru lane is made of recycled tyres.
The net-zero carbon McDonalds is part of the US-based company’s business and sustainability strategy to achieve net zero emissions across its entire UK and Ireland business, including its value chain, by 2040.
“Market Drayton is a big step towards … enabling us to test and put into practice what a net zero emissions building, both in build and use, really looks like,” said Beth Hart, McDonald’s Vice President Supply Chain and Brand Trust.
“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.”
Simon McWhirter, the director of communications, policy and places at the UKGBC said the challenge of decarbonising the UK construction industry was complex, but McDonald’s construction of the first restaurant in line with the Green Building Council’s net-zero carbon framework was “a critical first step.”