Safeway opens a LEED certified store and a German Burger King goes green with wind and solar power
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Fast food joints aren’t known for being the most environmentally sensitive operations, but that could change if the design for a new Burger King in Germany catches on. The franchise in Waghäusel was built with more than 700 solar panels and other renewable energy features that supply a third of the restaurant’s power.
The green burger emporium is part of Burger King’s push toward social responsibility, outlined in a program called BK Positive Steps. On the company’s website, it says that, for example, that all its beef comes from cows that have raised in an environmentally friendly way. Other than that, the statement is short on details, but it does specify that no beef comes from “recently deforested tropical rainforests.”
Well, that’s a relief, the only question being, how recent is “recent?”
But the solar-powered restaurant is worth looking at, since the panels generate the equivalent of 53,500 kWh or electricity, enough to supply about five average U.S. households.
Along with the solar panels, the restaurant uses high-tech ventilation to recycle exhaust and uses is to heat water. The traditional Burger King logo outside the restaurant includes a wind turbine, which generates 2,500 kWh of electricity per year, and if you arrive in an electric vehicle, you can charge it out and the solar-paneled charging station.
It would be great to see other fast food chains emulate Burger King’s green store, and even better if local governments and planning authorities stepped up to encourage, if not require, similar measures for all new corporate restaurants.
And in the upscale Georgetown neighborhood, where many of the capital’s movers and shakers live, a new Safeway store is turning some heads. The Safeway was slated to become the Washington, D.C. area’s first LEED certified store. The rundown on some of the environmentally friendly features include site design that retains and filters runoff before it goes into the municipal stormwater drainage system, and natural ventilation in the parking area to eliminate the need for fans. Officials also said the design minimizes the heat island effect by using white roofing and a light-colored surface material on the parking lot.
The Safeway store will also compost old produce, cardboard and plastic, while waste bones, fat and grease will be turned into biofuel.
I’m tempted to say there’s a bit of corporate greenwashing going on with both the Burger King story and the Safeway store, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. They’ve both obviously put a bit of thought into reducing their environmental footprint, which is a good thing — and more than many other businesses are doing.
Filed under: Environment, Summit County Colorado Tagged: | Environment, green Burger King, LEED Safeway, Our Future Summit, Summit County Colorado, Summit County News, sustainability, sustainable development