FRANCHISING | Staff Reporter, Australia

McDonald's Australia reaches 1,000-store milestone with sustainability flagship

The new restaurant features 25 core sustainability initiatives.

McDonald’s Australia has officially opened its 1,000th restaurant, also the company’s first-ever sustainability flagship for the country.

Located at Melton South, the restaurant is operating fully on renewable energy and features 25 core sustainability initiatives, including Happy Meal toy recycling, carbon neutral McDelivery via Uber Eats and DoorDash, a bespoke PlayPlace made with recycled content, electric vehicle charging stations, and daylight harvesting lighting.

An on-site solar system will generate around 42,000kWh per year, the company said.

“As a sustainability innovation hub, Restaurant 1000 will play a crucial role in enabling us to continue to design and build commercially practical sustainability solutions into every new Macca’s restaurant in the years to come,” McDonald’s Australia national director of development Diana Grosmann said.

“The opening of our 1,000th restaurant is a significant achievement for Macca’s and we are proud to be continuing to find new and innovative ways to help make a positive difference to the communities we operate in.”

Customers of the milestone store will be served a series of new packaging items including paper straws, wooden cutlery and paper sundae cups, as McDonald’s Australia continues to phase out all plastic straws and plastic cutlery from its restaurants nationwide.

The collective impact of these transitions will remove 860 tonnes of plastic from the McDonald’s system, the fast food giant added.

The restaurant will also incorporate energy efficient air-conditioning systems, hydrocarbon equipment and a building monitoring system to help collectively reduce carbon emissions and energy used.

“Over the coming three years we plan to invest more than $500 million to open over 80 new restaurants across Australia, incorporating a range of core sustainability elements from Restaurant 1000, including PlayPlaces made with recycled content and energy efficient equipment, as well as the use of 100% renewable energy at some restaurants,” added Grosmann.

“Through partnership with the franchisee of the restaurant, Ben Westover, we hope Restaurant 1000 will allow us to learn quickly and expand successful innovation trials, so we can continue to implement practices, equipment and products to improve our environmental impact.”

In early 2021, the restaurant will commence trialling a front-of-house waste recycling system, as the business moves toward achieving its goal of diverting front-of-house waste from landfill. The trial will see front-of-house waste from the restaurant recycled into carry out bags and wraps packaging.

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