McDonald's USA LLC (No. 11) has made its debut on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) updated list of the Top 50 Green Power Partnership organizations voluntarily using clean, renewable electricity from resources such as solar, wind and low-impact hydropower.
Intel Corporation tops the list as the largest single user of green power, followed by Kohl's Department Stores and Microsoft Corporation. Combined, the Top 50 partners are using more than 15 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually. Through their use of green power, these top organizations are avoiding carbon pollution equal to that created by the electricity use of more than 1.3 million American homes each year.
Ranking at No. 11 this year is McDonald's USA LLC, with 30 percent of green energy use powered by wind through providers 3Degrees and Sterling Planet. Its annual green power usage is 306,000,000 kWh.
Its partner profile reads, in part: "With restaurants operating in communities around the world, McDonald's wants to show its customers that the company is serious about being a good neighbor, and using its size, scale and influence to lead, and affect positive change in the world. Recognizing that electricity usage contributes to its environmental impact, McDonald's USA LLC has made a national commitment to match 30 percent of its electricity use at company-owned restaurants in 2011 and 2012 with renewable energy certificates from U.S. wind sources. McDonald's USA is among the first within the QSR segment to participate in the EPA's Green Power Partners program.
At the restaurant-level, McDonald's USA is focusing on reducing energy usage to ensure the company can continue to operate profitably and responsibly well into the future. Multiple energy efficiency initiatives and technical innovations have reduced McDonald's restaurants' energy consumption. The company sees an opportunity to augment these efforts by supporting the development of renewable energy through the purchase of renewable energy certificates."
Starbucks was the only other restaurant chain to make the list. At No. 8, Starbucks' annual green power usage is 421,535,000 kWh. The company uses 46.8 percent of green power via providers 3Degrees, Nexant, Seattle City Light and Tri-County Electric Cooperative. It uses Biogas, Geothermal, Small-hydro and Wind.
The chain's profile reads: "Since the day we opened our very first store in 1971, Starbucks has been committed to doing business responsibly and in a manner that earns the trust and respect of our customers and neighbors. Energy use makes up roughly 80 percent of our directly controlled carbon emissions. That makes it our single biggest impact on the climate — and our single biggest opportunity to make significant improvements ... We are purchasing RECs equivalent to more than 50 percent of our stores' electricity use globally, and have committed to cover 100 percent of their use by 2015."
EPA's Green Power Partnership works with more than 1,300 partner organizations, more than half of which are small businesses and nonprofit organizations, to voluntarily use green power. Green power resources produce electricity with an environmental profile superior to conventional power technologies, and produce significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
"For the first time, each of the Top 50 partners is using more than 100 million kilowatt-hours of green power annually," said Lisa P. Jackson, EPA administrator. "Their actions help to reduce harmful carbon pollution that threatens the health of our planet and the air we breathe, and mark another step toward a new era of clean, innovative American energy."
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