Yum Brands Opens First Green KFC-Taco Bell Restaurant

Yum Brands Opens First Green KFC-Taco Bell Restaurant

Restaurant giant Yum Brands Inc. has opened an eco-friendly KFC-Taco Bell in Northampton, Mass., marking the 11-year-old company's first attempt to seek green building certification for one of its eateries.

The restaurant is designed according to environmental goals that include cutting energy and water consumption by 30 percent and reducing CO2 emissions. Operations at the new site are also expected to reduce waste and the amount of rubbish sent to landfills; the restaurant composts and recycles other waste, grease and used cooking oil. The company is seeking certification for the restaurant based on the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environment Design standards.

With some 36,000 KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Long John Silver's, A&W and Wing Street restaurants in more than 110 countries and territories, Yum Brands Inc. bills itself as the world's largest restaurant company.

Yum Brands' first green KFC-Taco Bell restaurant, Northampton, Mass. Image by Derry Berrigan, DBLD Lighting Design, courtesy of Yum Brands
The firm issued its first corporate responsibility report last year. And the construction of the KFC-Taco Bell in Northampton is intended as the "first of a series" of projects being pursued by Yum Brands' Building Environmental Sustainability Team as part of the company's Energy Environment and Economics (E3) Initiative, the report says.

The report also says the new restaurant and the initiative make up "the primary exploration vehicle to test and evaluate green building methodologies." Data about the performance of the new restaurant and that of other company sites are expected to inform the Yum Brands’ work to green existing buildings, plan prototypes and develop in restaurants.

The new restaurant in Massachusetts has a lighting control system that takes advantage of natural light and uses LED lights inside and out where feasible. The site features energy efficient kitchen and building equipment, rainwater harvesting, a rain garden that serves as filter for storm water and low-flow water fixtures. In addition, the restaurant uses solar energy to preheat fresh air entering building, reducing the need for natural gas.

Yum also said counter tops, insulation and materials used in the building contain recycled content and that wood used in construction was harvested sustainably.

Photographs by Derry Berrigan, DBLD Lighting Design, courtesy of Yum Brands