McDonald’s celebrates Earth Day by announcing that its global headquarters building in Oak Brook, Illinois, has been awarded one of the most prestigious Green Building awards: LEED Platinum certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally accepted certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Worldwide, less than 210 building projects have achieved the LEED Platinum certification, the highest certification level. Buildings that have attained this rigorous level of LEED certification are among the greenest in the world.

McDonald’s global headquarters building was built in 1988, starting with a vision to construct an incomparable sustainable building. Many of the original features including an open office environment with generous access to daylight, space and land-saving underground parking and landscaping with native plants, contributed to McDonald’s receipt of this prestigious award.

In addition, McDonald’s recycling and waste programs, green vehicle parking designations, used fry oil conversion into bio-diesel fuel, and recapturing of rainwater for irrigation are just some of the innovative ideas implemented over the years which contributed to LEED Platinum certification. See below for complete listing of highlights.

“We are very proud of this achievement. By working through the LEED certification process, we were able to document that an environmentally-friendly workplace can be cost effective. The benefits associated with this effort are ongoing, with positive impacts on our employees, our budgets and the environment. This third party certification by the U.S. Green Building Council was a great validation for our workplace sustainability efforts” says Joseph Endress, vice-president, Facilities and Systems at McDonald’s.

“Sustainability starts at home, in how we think, and how we make decisions everyday that put our values into practice, so this recognition is very aligned with our company’s overarching goal to be a socially responsible company” adds Bob Langert, vice-president McDonald’s global corporate social responsibility.

McDonald’s headquarters sits on 88 acres, over half still remains in native woodlands. Oak trees dominate the site and special care was taken during construction to not disturb any tree or tree roots.

Two man-made lakes, fondly named Ed and Fred, are used to retain site storm water, which also provides a source for plant material irrigation during the summer.

Preservation of the environment, concern for wildlife and its habitat, enhancement of the landscape and the maintenance of the waterways have been, and will always be, of great importance to McDonald’s.

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