McDonald’s has signed two long-term, large-scale virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs), for renewable energy generated by Aviator Wind West, a wind power project located in Coke County, Texas and an unspecified solar project, also in Texas.
Courtesy of NREL
The combined 380MW in renewable energy expected to be generated from McDonald’s contribution to these projects will help to prevent over 700,000 metric tons of carbon emissions each year, which is equivalent to planting more than 11 million trees or taking over 140,000 cars off the road for one year. Additionally, the energy generated by these projects will be equivalent to over 2,500 restaurants-worth of electricity.
In March 2018, McDonald’s became the first restaurant company in the world to set a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). These two projects will represent significant progress toward McDonald’s Climate Action Target to reduce GHG emissions related to McDonald’s restaurants and offices by 36 percent by 2030.
“As we look at the most pressing social and environmental challenges facing the world today, McDonald’s has a responsibility to take action, and our customers expect us to do what is right for the planet,” said Francesca DeBiase, Chief Supply Chain and Sustainability Officer, McDonald’s. “These US wind and solar projects represent a significant step in our work to address climate change, building on years of renewable energy sourcing in many of our European markets. We want to keep this momentum going, and we’re excited for what’s next.”
Both of these projects are expected to impact the local community by jointly generating over $200 million in local tax revenue and helping to provide approximately 600 new short-term construction, operations, maintenance jobs, as well as 13 long-term jobs.
This is the second large-scale PPA signed with Aviator Wind this year. In September, Ares Management and Apex Clean Energy announced that the Aviator Wind East project signed a renewable PPA with Facebook. Aviator Wind East is an approximately 200 MW segment of the 525 MW Aviator Wind project.
“McDonald’s worked tirelessly to align its organization, design a creative strategy that fits its unique franchised business model and build a strong foundation for future transactions,” said Gary Farha, president and CEO of CustomerFirst Renewables. “With this initiative, McDonald’s is taking an important step towards addressing its carbon footprint and is demonstrating leadership by inspiring others to act.”
McDonald’s is committed to taking action on climate change and the environment. Through its Scale for Good platform, the company is working toward 2025 goals to make 100 percent of McDonald’s guest packaging come from renewable, recycle or certified sources and to recycle guest packaging in 100 percent of McDonald’s restaurants.