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New McDonald’s Site is First Net-Zero Restaurant in UK

New McDonald’s Site is First Net-Zero Restaurant in UK
13 December 2021

McDonald’s Market Drayton is the first restaurant in the UK due to be verified as net-zero emissions for construction, using the UK Green Building Council’s net-zero carbon buildings framework.

The Shropshire restaurant will act as a blueprint for future restaurants around the country, has been designed to be net-zero emissions standard in both construction and everyday operation – an industry first.

The restaurant has been deliberately designed to retain the familiar McDonald’s look and feel to ensure it can be effectively replicated as the business looks to revolutionise the way it designs its new and existing restaurants to achieve net-zero emissions for all its 1,400 restaurants and offices by 2030.


What Sustainable Building Features Does the Restaurant Have?



  • Renewable power from two wind turbines and 92 sqm of solar panels - producing 60,000 kWh of power per year, and reducing the amount of energy the restaurant draws from the grid.
  • Walls insulated with British sheep’s wool which might otherwise have gone to landfill, and which replaces unsustainable man-made materials.
  • Building cladding made from recycled IT equipment and white household goods, amounting to 250 sqm of recycled materials.
  • Wall signs made from McDonald’s used coffee beans - one of the examples of action the business is taking to introduce circular waste solutions.
  • Kerbs stones, each made from 182 recycled plastic bottles, reducing carbon emissions by 25kg per kerb compared to concrete kerbs. By using over 1,000 of these at Market Drayton, McDonald’s has diverted over 200,000 plastic bottles from landfill.
  • A Drive-Thru lane which has been made from recycled tyres – this material produces less carbon dioxide and allows more water to be absorbed, reducing the amount of rainwater going down the drain.
  • A biodiversity garden and nature trail – designed by schoolchildren from Market Drayton Junior School, the garden will collect rainwater from the car park and provide a habitat for frogs and other creatures
  • .Wall art made from recycled polystyrene cups, fixed in place with potato starch from McDonald’s potatoes.
  • EV charging points.
  • Furniture made from 100 per cent recyclable materials.


Simon McWhirter, UKGBC’s Director of Communications, Policy & Places said: “The challenge of decarbonising the construction industry is a complex one, but McDonald’s commitment to building the first restaurant in the UK in line with UKGBC’s net-zero carbon buildings framework is a critical first step. We welcome the ambition to achieve net-zero emissions for all McDonald’s restaurants and offices by 2030.”


Beef Items Remain on Menu


A much-reported technique on the way to carbon-neutrality concerns the nation’s diets. A recently leaked report from the IPCC states “plant-based diets can reduce emissions by up to 50 per cent compared to the average emission-intensive western diet.”

Offering vegan options is an alternative way for businesses to practice effective corporate social responsibility and reduce their carbon footprint. The recently launched Vegan McPlant Burger indicates a step in this direction, although it seems McDonald’s has no plans to stop offering its carbon-heavy beef burgers.

According to a report by The Mirror, producing a Big Mac leads to the emission of 2.35kg of CO2, the same as driving an average UK petrol car 7.88 miles. 

Beth Hart, the Vice President of Supply Chain for McDonald’s UK and Ireland, told i news:

“Beefburgers are still the most popular item on our menu. Our customers love it. We’re a business and we need to give customers what they want and love. We’re also grateful to the farms that have served us for so many years and we’re not moving away from them. But that’s the challenge.”

Picture: a photograph of a McDonald's Sign

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 13 December 2021


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