The U.S. Green Building Council is working with companies that include McDonald's Corporation to develop LEED Volume, a program to achieve the green building standard in multiple, similarly-built locations operated by a single organization.
In Cary, North Carolina there are two McDonald's restaurants that have achieved LEED Gold certification with such features as a solar canopy over the parking lot, water-efficient plumbing, composting of kitchen and consumer waste, and recycling of cardboard packaging and cooking oil. The company aims to have 25 such locations by the end of 2015 – and may be able to extend that much, much further with future participation in LEED Volume.
I worked in the corporation's PR firm (Golin/Harris Communciations) from 1986 through 1990, at a time when the restaurants faced criticism for the amount of waste they generated. While the perception of that problem was outsized, I did see early efforts by the global company to do what they could. As owner/operator Ric Richards told me as I was writing this article for Green Building & Design, striving for efficiency is very much a long-held company value.
As a business writer, I sometimes experience a cross of past experiences (PR for a major food corporation) with current engagements (writing about sustainable architecture and construction). This is one of the benefits of a long career spanning many industries – contact me to discuss your own communications needs.