The Company has varied approaches to renewable energy. Our primary focus is to improve energy efficiency first, then support renewable energy in a variety of ways, including the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and long-term renewable power purchase agreements with utility providers.
McDonald's Europe Renewable Energy Commitments
McDonald’s Europe has pursued various renewable energy initiatives over the past decade. For example, McDonald’s U.K. has committed for a 20-year period to purchase renewable energy from new infrastructure, including an innovative waste-to-energy plant. By enabling the development of renewable energy generating infrastructure in this manner, McDonald’s U.K. anticipates saving on energy costs over the long term. Eight other European markets — Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland — have achieved or are working toward purchasing 100% renewable energy for their restaurants.
McDonald’s USA purchased RECs for its Company-owned restaurants in an amount equal to at least 30% of the restaurants’ total electricity usage each year from 2011 to 2013. This was accomplished through Renewable Energy Certificates from national wind sources. McDonald’s USA was among the first within the Quick Serve Restaurant segment to participate in the EPA’s Green Power Partnership® program, earning the Company #11 on the National Top 50 list and #8 among Fortune 500 companies in April 2012. As a result, McDonald’s USA was awarded the EPA’s Green Power Leadership Award in 2012.
These initial efforts provided important learnings as we continue to evolve our renewable energy strategy. Working with our Global Environmental Council and our Global Energy Leadership Board, we plan to review and evaluate our approach to renewable energy in 2014.