How fast food businesses are LEEDing the way to a more sustainable future

Posted by Rumin Mann
March 11th, 2011

Going green is one of the major trends every type of business is adopting in the new millennium and fast food franchises are no exception. Starbucks, Arby’s and McDonald’s are among the top of the list when it comes to fast food places implementing sustainability practices.


Starbucks has been dubbed king of the green chain stores with nine LEED-certified Starbucks locations. The coffee company actually helped the U.S. Green Building Council establish standards for “volume-build” restaurants.

Starbucks is pursuing LEED certification because “we have a commitment to reduce our environmental impact. We also realize that operating sustainably absolutely makes good business sense,” says Jim Hanna, director of environmental impact.

Starbucks is also encouraging all of its customers to switch from paper cups to reusable travel mugs.

Starbucks has been green since 1985, when they started offering a discount to customers who bring in a reusable travel mug, which they still do till this day. This is just one of the ways Starbucks is fulfilling its commitment to environmental stewardship while working towards a long-term goal of 100 percent reusable or recyclable cups by 2015.

This global movement is taking place in locations worldwide including East China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Netherlands, Oman, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, UK, Ireland, Argentina, Bahamas, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico.


Arby’s first eco-friendly restaurant, located in Magnolia, Texas, opened on April 23, 2009 and was recently awarded Silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Magnolia Arby’s is the only Silver LEED-certified restaurant listed on the USGBC Web site for the state of Texas.

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