McDonald's may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking of green companies but this huge corporation has been discussing reducing its environmental impact for decades. In 2007, McDonald's joined the LEED Retail Pilot Program. Members of the pilot program convey the information they gain during the green building process to the U.S. Green Building Council.
One of McDonald's recent green building successes was the opening of a Chicago restaurant that is hoping for LEED certification. Some of the highlights of the Chicago restaurant are:
"high-efficiency rooftop mechanical equipment and boilers, high-efficiency interior lighting with skylights and daylight controls, water conserving toilets and plumbing fixtures, a vegetated green roof, stormwater management with permeable parking lot pavement and rain gardens, high-efficiency LED lighting for exterior signage and the parking lot and green power purchased through renewable energy credits." Source: McDonald's
This will not be the first LEED-certified restaurant; a Savannah, Georgia location received LEED Gold certification in 2005. The company has plans to build more green restaurants both in the United States and abroad. I am pleased to see that green building is truly becoming a more mainstream venture.