KFC opens new green restaurant

A new KFC unit in Indianapolis opens today and will feature a full menu of the chain's signature dishes, as well as some eco-friendly features on the side.

The latest store was built using elements that follow the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process created by the U.S. Green Building Council.

For example, the building is designed to use 25 percent less energy and water than a conventional KFC restaurant. It features energy-efficient cooking equipment, low-power, long-life LED lighting, locally sourced building materials, parking preference for hybrid vehicles, fixtures designed for lower water use, waste recycling (including cooking oil and plastics) and more.

"This new KFC Green restaurant is part of our E3 initiative, which looks at Economically responsible ways of saving Energy and being Environmentally aware," said Roger McClendon, chief sustainability officer for Yum! Brands Inc., parent company of KFC Corporation. "KFC has a responsibility to our customers, employees and shareholders to be forward thinking and intentional in our environmental sustainability vision. This project is part of our global environmental stewardship efforts."

McClendon added that the restaurant will be used as a "test lab" and its performance will be evaluated for potential future buildings.

The debut of the Indianapolis KFC follows the opening of a KFC/Taco Bell restaurant in Northampton, Mass., which was LEED Gold-certified in 2009. KFC will be seeking LEED certification for the Indianapolis restaurant, as well, touting the following characteristics in the process:

Energy Efficiency:

  • Cooking with energy efficient kitchen equipment
  • Specifying high efficiency heating, cooling and ventilation
  • Reusing energy to heat hot water
  • Lighting with low-power, long life LED lighting
  • Harvesting sunlight to reduce manmade lighting
  • Automating energy management and monitoring

Community Connections:

  • Building with local building materials such as concrete, steel and masonry
  • Roofing and paving are light colored to help reduce urban heat island effect
  • Parking preference for customers using hybrid vehicles
  • Reducing use of foam through reusable food containers

Water Conservation:

  • Installing fixtures designed for lower water use
  • Planting indigenous flowers and shrubs to reduce water needs
  • Using water conserving drip irrigation system

Sensible Materials:

  • Reducing building size to save materials and energy
  • Incorporating building materials with recycled content, including floor tiles, wall coverings and cotton fiber insulation
  • Building with sustainably harvested wood (FSC Certified)
  • Selecting earth-friendlier adhesives and paints
  • Recycling waste including cooking oil and plastics

This building is the latest sustainability effort for KFC, which was recently honored with a 2010 Greener Package Award for its renewable container and also launched a website to track its green initiatives.

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