In recent years, a large number of companies and industries throughout Australia have joined the push for greater use of sustainable features in the design and construction of buildings.
Now, it seems, one of the world’s best-known restaurant chains has joined in, as McDonald’s Kilsyth South store in Melbourne’s east has become the first Australian restaurant to be recognised with Green Star certification.
In a statement, the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) says the store has been awarded a 4 Star Green Star – Custom Design rating for developing a new benchmark for the design of environmentally sustainable restaurants.
GBCA says the store has achieved Green Star certification by incorporating a range of sustainable initiatives into its design and construction. These include energy efficient lighting and mechanical systems, a rainwater capture system for irrigation and to flush toilets, solar panels and the use of more sustainable building materials such as recycled concrete and steel.
The Council also says the restaurant features low-VOC paints to improve indoor environment quality as well as drought tolerant landscaping.
GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew says McDonald’s has worked closely with the Council throughout the restaurant’s design and construction to develop a custom-made Green Star rating tool specific to the restaurant business.
“This is the first time we have worked with a brand in the food and beverage industry and we congratulate McDonald’s for taking the industry lead to create a custom-built Green Star rating tool,” she says.
Madew hopes to see more ‘quick service’ restaurants across the country follow McDonald’s lead.
Store franchisee Howard Armitage says bringing restaurants into the Green Star system represents an important step in promoting sustainable building in the food service industry.
“Restaurants previously fell outside the scope of the Green Star rating system, so the collaboration with the GBCA now means that McDonald’s can join the league of Green Star leaders,” he says. “We understand the importance of adopting environmentally friendly initiatives and procedures for the benefit of the communities in which we operate and are thrilled to achieve the first Green Star rating for a restaurant in the country.”