A rebuilt McDonald’s restaurant in Riverside, California, became the first McDonald’s west of the Mississippi and the fourth in the U.S. to seek LEED Gold certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). The restaurant, located at 2242 University Avenue, opened to the public Thursday, Oct. 14.

The building, which is owned and operated by Tom and Candace Spiel and has stood as a McDonald’s restaurant for 44 years, reopened more sustainable and energy-efficient with a host of green features including:
• Light-colored hardscape to reduce heat emissions from site,
• Native drought-tolerant plants to reduce water consumption by landscape,
• Low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce water usage,
• 294 photovoltaic panels to generate a percentage of the restaurant’s power consumption, and
• Recycled denim insulation inside the building.

The restaurant features an interactive touch-screen display for visitors to learn about the building, environmental sustainability, and how individuals can reduce their carbon footprints.
Other LEED-certified McDonald’s restaurants are located in Cary, North Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; and Chicago. The Riverside restaurant expects to receive LEED certification within one year.

“We were inspired to build a McDonald’s restaurant that highlights the green focus of Riverside: California’s first Emerald City,” says Candace Spiel, McDonald’s owner/operator. “We are so proud of this restaurant and its possibilities to encourage and educate our customers and community on the importance of environmental sustainability.”

Beginning as manager trainee and crewperson, respectively, over the last 40 years, Tom and Candace have risen within the ranks of the McDonald’s system to own and operate nine McDonald’s restaurants in the Inland Empire located in Chino, Ontario, Montclair, Pomona, Riverside, and Rubidoux. Both Tom and Candace are members of the McDonald’s Operators’ Association of Southern California, which is comprised of more than 120 small business owners in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura.

Emerging Concepts, News, Sustainability, McDonald's