Green Buildings In Action

China: KFC Achieves LEED Gold Certification

KFC China's first LEED certificationOn September 16, 2013, KFC China celebrated the opening of its new Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certified restaurant in Beijing. The Xuan Wu Men location is KFC's third LEED restaurant in China.

The Xuan Wu Men restaurant features water and energy conservation technologies such as efficient lighting with sunlight harvesting controls and high performing air-conditioning design; setting a high standard for building performance. Electricity and water consumption are tracked by a real-time monitoring system located in the restaurant which enables KFC to continuously optimize energy savings and make future improvements.

Achieving the "green" standard is not only about operations inside the restaurant, suppliers must also adhere to environmental standards. The LEED report for the Xuan Wu Men restaurant reported that 98 percent of the construction waste was recycled and 25 percent of the building materials contain recycled content.

KFC is one of the leading quick service companies in China to attain LEED certification of its restaurant buildings, developing stores that are better for the environment.

United States: Taco Bell Lives Más with Sustainability

Taco Bell has developed three sustainable restaurants, helping the brand become more socially responsible. By adapting to green building codes and proactively responding to rising energy costs, they are ultimately leading to higher margins. In 2010, Taco Bell restaurants faced increasing costs around energy and stronger sustainable building codes. The brand started looking at ways to develop more sustainable buildings. The first LEED certified restaurant was developed in 2011, and a second quickly followed in 2012.

Most recently, Taco Bell developed a restaurant in alignment with the International Green Construction Code. This new code adopts LEED standards with an emphasis towards utility conservation, primarily electricity, which seemingly provides the brand with the greatest wins for company and franchise developers, incentivizing the system to build more sustainable restaurants.

This energy savings incentive was strengthened by Taco Bell committing to a >25% ROI or four years or less payback on all energy saving design measures adopted for use in restaurants. This approach is to lower operating costs which flow directly to bottom line profitability and sustainability.

Performance to-date

The first restaurant, developed in 2011, achieved an average 10% reduction in electrical consumption. The second restaurant, developed in 2012, achieved a 17% reduction in energy usage. The target for the restaurant developed in 2013 is set at 40% or greater reduction in energy consumption, which will result in an average of $10,000 - $15,000 annual operating and maintenance savings.

Taco Bell is testing energy saving and green design ideas over the next two years, which will help the brand meet its sustainability goals.

Australia: KFC Opens Country’s First Green Restaurant

KFC Australia made history on July 2, 2013, with the grand opening of the country's first "green" quick service restaurant, which was attended by the Environment Minister and Maitland MP, Robyn Parker, and Mayor Peter Blackmore. The restaurant is officially LEED certified.

The East Maitland store in New South Wales is designed to save as much as 15% of the annual energy and 25% of the annual water costs thanks to the latest in environmentally friendly building design.

It is estimated that the new facility will divert up to 800 kilograms (1,734 pounds) of waste each week from landfills. Everyday materials such as cardboard, bottles, and cans are recyclable, while food scraps can be turned into compost for the local community. Used cooking oil is also repurposed as animal feed or bio diesel.

"As one of the largest quick service restaurant brands in Australia, we believe it is our responsibility to minimize the impact of our business on the environment we live and operate in," said Michael Clark, Chief Supply Chain Officer for KFC Australia. "We are committed to making substantial investments in research and initiatives designed to reduce our environmental impact and to help ensure that all of our new restaurants are LEED certifiable by 2015."

United Kingdom: KFC from the Ground Up

A new KFC built in Denton, England in 2013 incorporated eco-friendly features. This is part of a larger effort the brand has had in place since 2010 to construct new locations that incorporate standards set out by LEED and Building Research Estblishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM), two councils that certify sustainability. Additional green features found in the Denton KFC as well as other new locations include:

  • Solar panels for water heating
  • LED lighting, including signage
  • Low water bathroom fixtures
  • Front entrance door automatic closure
  • Heat recovery system from HVAC units
  • Thaw cabinets for chicken
  • FSC timbers
  • Membership of the Considerate Contractors Scheme
  • Generation of less than 5% waste during construction

France: KFC Unveils One of Country’s Greenest Restaurants

KFC France LEED RestaurantFrance's KFC restaurant in the city of Orleans, which opened on November 19, 2013, is one of the greenest built restaurants and is officially the second LEED Gold restaurant in France. KFC Orleans includes a number of innovations such as natural lighting, solar hot water, low-water using restroom fixtures, high-efficiency automated landscape sprinklers and rainwater harvesting.

KFC has also created signage to teach customers about the environmental benefits of the innovations, which they plan to incorporate in future buildings. The Orleans green project is just one part of KFC France's commitment to reducing its environmental footprint for the benefit of customers, associates, stakeholders and the planet.

"LEED offers a wealth of ideas that are easy to apply," said Philippe Rouzier, head of construction for KFC France. "Our objective is to share our best practices from Orleans with all of our restaurants."

India: KFC Strikes Gold

KFC India LEED RestaurantIn 2013, a KFC restaurant in Chennai, India achieved LEED Gold certification. The Besant Nagar store earned a score of 76 LEED points, surpassing the 60 LEED points required to achieve a Gold rating and achieving the highest score for a Yum! restaurant.

Within one year of operations, the restaurant saved 42% of water by using fixtures designed for lower water use and cutting 30% in energy costs through technologies such as high efficiency air conditioning, ventilation, low-power LED lighting and more efficient kitchen equipment.

The restaurant's coastal location is particularly helpful in conserving energy. Sensors located adjacent the building's generous windows help control artificial lighting allowing the restaurant to rely on sunlight during the day. In addition, a solar collector on the roof assists in pre-heating water, reducing the need for fossil fuels.

The team developed and installed signage that highlights the green aspects of the building. This allows customers to learn about how KFC is working to improve the environment while enjoying their favorite KFC foods.

United Kingdom: KFC Wincanton LEED and BREEAM Designed Restaurant

KFC UK built upon their sustainability successes at the KFC store in Wisbech with the opening of their new eco-restaurant in Wincanton. It is one of the company’s most environmentally friendly restaurants and includes a host of new and improved eco-features including:

  • An innovative system that enables the restaurant to generate electricity and hot water from used oil
  • Energy monitoring and control system that remotely monitors and controls all cooking, HVAC and refrigeration
  • LED lights in the dining room and parking lot to reduce energy consumption
  • Waterless urinals and infra-red sensor taps to reduce water use
  • Constructing the building and furnishings from sustainable timber derived from FSC and PEFC sources

The restaurant is certified LEED Gold as well as Building Research Estblishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (BREEAM) Very Good. KFC Wincanton’s remarkable “green” features are recounted in this video hosted by Ian Hagg, Head of CSR for KFC UK and Wesley Taylor, Assistant General Manager.

Australia: KFC Reduces Energy Costs with Lighting Upgrade

On the surface, it sounded like a straightforward project: replace restaurant lights with more efficient versions to reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs. However, as Fernando Morales, National Facilities Project Operations Manager for Australia, can attest this large scale project took careful preparation.

Morales said the project grew out of Australia’s first LEED certified building in East Maitland. Based on the successful outcome of this new building, KFC decided to make eco-friendly improvements in existing restaurants.

After testing and researching, the brand retrofitted approximately 5,000 lamps, resulting in a 60-85% decrease in electricity consumption. Maintenance costs are also decreasing across the system. The team is moving to rollout low energy-using induction lighting in parking lots and working on exhaust hood improvements.

United Kingdom: New Use for Used Cooking Oil

Our Wincanton green restaurant, as well as a second site in Trafford, is using waste cooking oil to provide hot water and to generate electricity for use in the restaurant. This is done through a small-scale cogeneration system that turns the cooking oil into fuel. This saves on energy and eliminates the need to transport the oil away for treatment and disposal.

The system is expected to reduce transport-related CO2 emissions by more than 4,000 metric tons per year by eliminating over 1,000 miles travelled to waste disposal sites. And because the system is 50% more efficient than a typical power station, using the energy it produces is expected to cut a further 1,800 metric tons of CO2 emissions from the store each year.

KFC has plans to test the system in two additional stores early in 2014 and is working toward further roll outs of the units later in the year.

United Kingdom: Recycling Construction Waste

Waste is inevitable when constructing new buildings. To minimize construction waste, the KFC UK team works with a company that tracks waste leaving restaurant development sites and ensures that as much material as possible is recycled. The results of this partnership have been astounding. In 2013, the team diverted 98.5% of its construction waste from landfills. Since the start of the program in 2010, this initiative has diverted 3,610 metric tons (7,958,688 pounds) of waste from landfills.

Click here to view Green Buildings in Action stories from the 2012 CSR Report.