Ecova will help Arby’s identify opportunities, set goals, guide the development of a corporate energy policy, establish priorities for implementation, and develop a timetable for achievement, the companies said.
The relationship between Arby’s and Ecova began in 2009 when Ecova began managing Arby’s utility expenses. This new initiative deepens the relationship to cover demand-side energy management and allows Ecova to draw insight from data on the restaurant chain’s existing energy use, gathered through the utility expense management work.
Energy represents Arby’s fourth largest controllable expense. The company said its first step to cutting costs will be changing employee behavior and operational protocols. Any savings from these moves will be reinvested in capital expenditures for other efficiency projects.
Tools that Ecova plans to use to drive energy savings for Arby’s include:
- Lighting, HVAC and water heating systems, restaurant equipment and building shell recommendations
- Rebates and incentives
- Equipment procurement strategies
- Demand response
- Energy management technology
The announced relationship reflects a trend of restaurant chains identifying and pursuing utility savings and environmental enhancements.
In June 2010, Burger King unveiled an energy-efficient pilot restaurant located in Germany. The restaurant uses renewable energy to power one-third of its energy requirements. Through the improvements, the trial “Burger King 20/20” restaurant cut its energy costs by 45 percent and CO2 emissions by more than 1201 metric tons annually.
The restaurant kitchen also features the Duke Flexible Batch Broiler, which cuts electricity consumption by 52 percent and costs by 90 percent. All Burger King restaurants in North America have installed this new broiler and the international rollout is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.
McDonald’s rolled out a pilot restaurant in Chicago, Illinois, in 2009 that is estimated to use 25 percent less energy than a traditional McDonald’s restaurant. In 2011 the chain worked with an EDF Climate Corps fellow to engage its estimated 700,000 U.S. restaurant employees in energy efficiency initiatives.
Arby’s has a number of sustainability initiatives already under its belt. In 2009 it announced plans to build its first green restaurant in Magnolia, Texas. The restaurant draws at least 35 percent of its energy from renewable sources. In 2007, Arby’s installed solar water heaters at 33 locations.