McDonald’s Goes Platinum!

Remember the ten-cent hamburger?  The world’s premier fast-food chain has once again gotten it right and what a difference it is making to employees and their surroundings.  The company’s sprawling corporate headquarters have been reconfigured renovated and now includes massive enhancements that have been adopted from recommendations made by the U.S. Green Building Council.  The corporate goal was to undergo and achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum Level Certification.  And, whatever McDonald’s starts, they finish.The Platinum Level Certification is the highest and best rating under the LEED® system.  And, McDonald’s did it the right way placing employee well being, community well-being and environmental concerns at the top of their to-do lists.  Just like they improvised and improved the fast food industry, McDonald’s applied that same aggressive style to achieving the green construction industry’s benchmark LEED® certification program’s top honor.Originally, the 88 acre headquarter site was heavily wooded.  The headquarters now features a heavy reliance upon natural lighting and all landscaping has been re-designed to include all native plantings.Today, the site includes two man–made lakes which will capture and re-use rainwater for its irrigation systems and to help the building’s energy efficient cooling systems.  The headquarters has also implemented an aggressive recycling and waste management program.One of the building’s many recycling processes is taking place in the building’s restaurant, where fry oil used in the restaurant is converted for use as a bio-diesel fuel.  Meanwhile 45% of the energy used to power the building is derived from off-site solar or wind power sources.These improvements have caused an 8.3% or 1.22 million kilowatt reduction in electrical usage.  The recycling efforts have resulted in a significant 130 tons reduction in landfill usage.The U.S. Green Building Council awarded points for these miraculous savings.  Generally, residents of LEED® certified buildings report higher attendance rates and an increased sense of environmental awareness.  Once again, McDonald’s lends their corporate culture to the benefit of all around them.  Well done Big Mac!

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