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McDonald’s, Margaritas Invest in Eco Strategies to Reduce Costs

foundingfarmersrestaurantRestaurants are making big investments in improving energy efficiency as well as adding conservation and sustainability measures to reduce costs. Some of these initiatives include “green” roofs, lighting retrofits and water conservation.

As an example, McDonald’s made a $2 million investment in its first environmentally friendly restaurant in Central America that is aimed at improvements in energy efficiency and conservation, reports The Tico Times. The restaurant also will implement sustainable practices to limit waste and conserve water.

The restaurant, located in Lindora, Santa Ana, features a green roof, where water is captured and routed through a cleaning tank and purified so it can be reused, reports The Tico Times. The green roof, together with several large polarized windows, is also used to cool the interior of the restaurant.

Other conservation efforts include the use of fluorescent light bulbs, an “intelligent” lighting system, and a recycling system. McDonald’s plans to seek USBGC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

McDonald’s also has environmentally friendly restaurants in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Chicago, among other locations.

Another restaurant chain, Margaritas Mexican Restaurant, is focused on energy-saving lighting retrofits. Based on a utility audited energy savings at its Exeter, New Hampshire location after its conversion to Array LEDs, the restaurant chain plans to expand its lighting retrofits to additional locations as part of its companywide energy-saving and environmental initiative.

The restaurant chain said it has realized significant savings from retrofitting traditional 65-watt incandescent lamps to 7.8-watt LED replacement lamps. In addition, rebates helped offset some of the costs of the retrofit project.

Other restaurants are focused on sustainable farming, in addition to making their restaurants as eco-friendly as possible.

As an example, North Dakota Farmers’ Union (NDFU) is promoting sustainable farming by establishing its own restaurant, reports Lancaster Farming. So far, NDFU and a group of investors have launched two restaurants — Agraria in Georgetown and Founding Farmers near George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

The restaurants serve food produced with no chemical fertilizers, hormones, and “limited” antibiotics, reports Lancaster Farming. In addition, Founding Farmers is the first upscale-casual, full-service restaurant in the U.S. to have achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, according to the article.

The restaurant was also one of the  inaugural winners of the Association for Retail Environments’ (A.R.E) Sustainability Awards. Almost the entire 8,500-square-foot restaurant is built out of recycled materials. Founding Farmers also uses Energy Star appliances, LED light fixtures, LEED HVAC systems for reduced energy usage and they purchase carbon offsets for the remainder, reports Lancaster Farming.

Founding Farmers said in the article that it pays about two-thirds less for gas and water than other similar sized restaurants, which allows them to pay more to sustainable farmers for their food.

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One thought on “McDonald’s, Margaritas Invest in Eco Strategies to Reduce Costs

  1. The famous Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank, CA is celebrating its 60th year in business by going green. The restaurant is now generating a portion of its own electricity from a solar power system consisting of 132 Canadian Solar CS6P 200 Modules. The system is installed on the large steel carport structure and a flat commercial roof above the neighboring Starbucks. It was designed and installed by HelioPower. The Bob’s solar installation will produce 39 MWh (mega watt hours) of electricity. This is enough green energy to offset the electrical demand of about seven homes; the elimination of CO2 offsets 57,000 miles driven per year and the equivalent of 78 trees planted and carbon sequestered for the life of those trees. Other environmental technologies applied at Bob’s include recycling and energy efficient lighting.

    You can get more information at http://www.sixtyandsolar.com including watch an installation video of the solar power system being installed on this historic building site.

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