As Dunkin’ continues to navigate the COVID-19 health crisis, the brand has simultaneously continued to advance key sustainability initiatives to serve both people and the planet responsibly. Dunkin’ today announced that 100 percent of its restaurants globally have transitioned from polystyrene foam cups to paper cups, meeting the timetable established by the brand two years ago. In Dunkin’ U.S. restaurants, the foam cups have been replaced by double-walled paper cups. Dunkin’ is also on track to fully transition to new, recyclable hot coffee cup lids in all of its U.S. restaurants by the end of the summer, and is committing to doubling its number of DD Green Achievement restaurants within five years.
New Cups, New Lids
The new, double-walled paper cups, made with paperboard certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Standard, are currently used to serve all Dunkin’ hot beverages, including coffee, espresso drinks, tea, and hot chocolate in the U.S. To meet guests’ expectations and preferences, the cups maintain heat retention properties comparable to the prior foam cups, keeping beverages hot while keeping hands cool, without the need for a sleeve. Dunkin’s transition to paper cups will remove approximately one billion foam cups from the waste stream annually.
While a limited number of Dunkin’ restaurants may still have foam cups in their inventory, the company’s distribution centers are no longer offering foam cups, making only the new, double-walled paper cups available to Dunkin’ U.S. franchisees for use in their restaurants.
The company is also on track to be fully transitioned to recyclable hot coffee cup lids in its U.S. restaurants by the end of summer 2020. The new lids are made of #5 polypropylene that can be recycled in cities and towns that offer #5 recycling. This transition, along with the move to the double-walled paper cups, will remove a collective 19 million pounds of polystyrene from the waste stream annually.
By the end of 2020, all Dunkin’ Keurig K-Cup pods sold in-store and on shelves at grocery will also be recyclable. Made with #5 polypropylene, customers can recycle the K-Cup pods by peeling and disposing of the lid, composting or disposing of the grounds, then recycling the remaining empty cup.
A DD Green Achievement Milestone and New Goal
Dunkin’ launched its DD Green Achievement program in 2014 to help its franchisees build more sustainable and energy-efficient restaurants. In 2016, the brand announced a goal of opening 500 DD Green Achievement restaurants by the end of 2020. Today, Dunkin’ is announcing that the company has met that milestone early, and is setting a new goal of opening its 1,000th DD Green Achievement restaurant by the end of 2025.
DD Green Achievement restaurants are built with sustainable and efficient elements including LED lighting, high-efficiency mechanical equipment, low-flow faucets, and more sustainable features. DD Green Achievement restaurants, which were designed to save between 15 to 20 percent of energy use as compared to traditional Dunkin’ restaurants, have proven to save approximately 33 percent of energy use, on average, when compared to conventional Dunkin’ locations, outperforming design anticipations.
According to Scott Murphy, president, Dunkin’ Americas, “Even in challenging times like these, sustainability remains a key priority for Dunkin’. We are proud of our accomplishments, but recognize that making a meaningful difference requires commitment and continuous improvement. We will build on our momentum and do our part to take care of the world around us because it matters to us, our franchisees, our guests, and our communities.”
Most Dunkin’ stores across the country remain open and have put enhanced preventative health and safety measures in place. In an ongoing effort to help keep its guests and restaurant employees safe, Dunkin’ is currently limiting service to drive-thru, carry-out, delivery, and curbside pick-up at select locations. Guests can order and pay contactless on the Dunkin’ App for a quick, grab-and-go experience.