Is McDonald’s First Net Zero Restaurant in the UK Just Greenwashing?

McDonald’s have pledged to make their entire chain of restaurants better for the environment. In the UK, they have opened some restaurants that claim to be net zero from an energy standpoint.

And yes, the buildings themselves have been made from recycled materials, and their energy is harnessed onsite from solar and wind. The drivethrough is paved with rubber from recycled tires, and care has been put into the plantings around the exterior. The interior of the restaurants bring more eco-friendly aspects to bear as well.

These are laudable achievements, but they fail to take into account the food products themselves. Namely, the beef that makes their hamburgers famous.

Until the carbon impact of producing beef can be reduced, or food habits of consumers shift away from nature-intensive products, the company can’t really claim they’re making that big of a difference.

We’ve seen a number of companies like McDonald’s with lofty goals and lists of achievements. But there is a fair amount of greenwashing at play, and consumers should be aware of what has been achieved, and what is clearly needed to improve.

Read more about this new UK restaurant design on Dezeen: