Subway Cuts Energy Use

by | Nov 21, 2007

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Subway has opened an Eco-Store in Florida that includes high efficiency HVAC systems, remote condensing units for refrigeration and ice making equipment, day lighting and controls for high efficiency lighting, LED interior and exterior signs, low flow water fixtures, and building and decor materials from sustainable sources.

Subway has also started using paper napkins that are made from 100 percent recycled materials with 60 percent post consumer recyclables.

Working in partnership with the franchisee-controlled Independent Purchasing Cooperative, which sources product and negotiates contracts for Subway franchisees, brand representatives are reviewing everything from materials used in disposable gloves to locations of product distribution centers.

The company is also testing recycle bins, the Wall Street Journal reports, something no other major fast-food chain, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Yum Brands’ KFC and Taco Bell and Wendy’s International, are doing at its restaurants in the U.S.

Restaurants say they don’t recycle because wrappers, napkins, cups and other packaging that is soiled with food is difficult, and in some cases impossible, to recycle in the U.S. But some think franchisees typically don’t want to do it because it usually costs more. If Subway can make recycling bins work, it could prompt other chains to add them too.Here are some details on other initiatives:

Efforts were made to strategically relocate several redistribution centers next to vendor manufacturing facilities, eliminating the need to transport product from long distances. In all, the move saves an estimated 1,660,079 gallons of gas per year and eliminates 10,491 truck loads annually. The brand has also undertaken an Operational Efficiency program and has a Transportation Management Center plan in the works, which ensures all routes are optimized and all trucks are full, which saves money on freight costs and emits less green house gasses.

Along with making napkins with 100 percent recycled materials – of which 60 percent is post consumer recyclable, saving an estimated 147,000 trees annually – the brand has also: switched the materials used for the manufacturing of its cutlery and 32 ounce plastic drinking cups from polystyrene to polypropylene. The change resulted in an annual resin savings of more than 610,000 pounds and saves an equivalent of 13,000 barrels of oil.

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