Canadian restaurant chains are going greener

As the recent single-use plastic ban takes effect in Canada, more restaurants are going greener, adjusting their practices to reduce their environmental impact, and addressing consumer demand for higher sustainability from the businesses they frequent.

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With 57 per cent of diners looking for more sustainability from QSRs, some of the biggest fast-food chains are addressing climate change with everything from environmental packaging to reduced carbon emissions.

McDonald’s has committed itself and its supply chain partners to using renewable energy going forward, resulting in avoiding over 170,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually from over 80 million trucks driven each year. The company and its distributors will be purchasing enough solar energy to support 100 per cent of their energy needs from a solar project in Texas, powering 90 US locations per year.

Tim Hortons has made the move to compostable wooden cutlery, eliminating the use of single-use plastic utensils. They’ve also switched their bowl lids to a version that uses 75 per cent less plastic, saving more than 1,400 tons of material annually.

Wendy’s is focusing on reducing carbon emissions as they move toward greener practices, planning to cut 47 per cent of greenhouse gases, avoid about 7.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, and remove more than 1.5 million gas-powered vehicles by 2030.

Subway plans to enhance the customer experience while boosting revenue by focusing on electric vehicles. They are piloting EV charging stations at several of their locations, also rolling out charging parks with multiple charging ports, picnic tables, wi-fi, restrooms, green space, and playgrounds.

Consumers are looking to frequent businesses that are transparent with their environmental efforts, and that includes restaurants. Some experts are suggesting the adoption of “climate impact” labels to increase consumer awareness about where their food comes from and how their eating habits are affecting the environment.

Canadians want more sustainability from their favourite restaurants and many of the fast-food chains are going greener in an effort to address these concerns with viable, sustainable decision-making.

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