McDonald's Opens Net-Zero Restaurant in UK

McDonald’s has reportedly opened a net-zero restaurant in Shropshire, England, which it hopes will act as a blueprint for the future of the franchise in the UK. McDonald’s says approx 990 square feet of solar panels and two wind turbines on-site will help power the restaurant, which the fast food giant says was constructed of recycled materials, such as equipment and household appliances, and it is insulated by discarded sheep’s wool. The company used recycled tires and plastic bottles to make the drive-thru lane and its curbs. McDonald’s is aiming to reach net-zero in all of its UK restaurants by 2030.

McDonald’s has also said its goal is to have net-zero global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 from both direct sources like corporate offices and indirect sources like suppliers’ goods and services. One of the major hurdles the company faces is the emissions that come from its supply chain. Although the plant-based McPlant burger was released in some places in 2021, McDonald’s is one of the largest beef buyers in the world, and the animal-sourced ingredients it uses (including chicken, dairy, beef, and other proteins) make up approx 80% of its total emissions, according to Reuters.