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Fast food chain harnesses power of the sun


ENERGIZED McDonald’s Arayat Pampanga, one of the first 25 McDonald’s stores with solar roof —Contributed photos

Nearly a month after President Marcos reiterated the government’s goal to increase the share of renewables in the country’s energy mix in his second State of the Nation Address, key private sector players are faced with the pressure to implement projects to achieve this goal.

The Philippines is currently still far from the 35% renewable energy share target at 22%, with coal dominating the country’s total energy capacity at almost 60%.

Faced with this challenge, fast-food giant McDonald’s Philippines has been stepping up its transition to environmentally friendly and sustainable operations since its first store welcomed Filipinos in 1981.

Through its Green & Good initiative, McDonald’s now uses solar panels to power 25 of its more than 700 stores across the country with renewable energy. It’s part of the company’s effort to pioneer “environmental responsibility” in the fast-food space, according to McDonald’s Philippines President and CEO Kenneth Yang.

“We will continue to find solutions to make our operations more efficient and better for the planet. With the results of our Green & Good initiatives so far, we believe it is possible to grow sustainably,” shares Yang.

The solar program takes off

McDo Nuvali

McDonald’s Nuvali Sta. Pink

McDonald’s Philippines solar panel program started along UN Del Pilar Avenue, one of the busiest streets in Manila, in 2020.

It was the first of many stores to have solar panels installed on their roofs, and this initial change encouraged McDonald’s to target 130 local Green & Good stores by the end of the year.

McDonald’s has not limited its energy transition program to Metro Manila. Green & Good stores can also be found in the provinces of Pampanga, Cavite, Antipolo and Laguna, the company says.

The effectiveness of this transition strategy is supported by the 546,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity saved in the 25 existing Green & Good stores, which McDonald’s says has reduced consumption by 36% compared to stores that do not operate at solar energy.

At the same time, its six flagship Green & Good stores alone have reduced 52,500 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Each store saved 102,000 liters of water. In addition to reducing energy and water consumption, McDonald’s adds that it has also reduced plastic waste by 273 metric tons through the use of 60% paper and fiber-based packaging and lids. without straw.

On-the-go bike commuters are also welcome at select stores with bike and food outlets, while electric charging stations are available for two-wheeled electric vehicles.

Construction is also limited off-site, and repurposed and alternative building materials are used to promote “sustainable construction methods”.

“With over 700 stores nationwide, McDonald’s Philippines is firmly committed to environmental responsibility…Our stakeholders can look forward to enjoying more McDonald’s Green & Good stores in the future,” says Yang. INQ

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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