The Subway restaurant chain, which has made a commitment to make its restaurants and operations more environmentally accountable, is pleased to announce that the brand’s first Eco-Store, located in Kissimmee, Florida, received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver certification.

There are five Subway Eco-Stores open and operating, three others of which are pending LEED certification. The Subway Eco-Stores are built following US Green Building Council guidelines. LEED is a third-party certification program for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings.

Among the elements of the Kissimmee Eco-Store are high-efficiency heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning 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. There is also an extensive use of recycled products and furnishings in the construction of the restaurant and an increased emphasis on recycling in customer areas.

“Subwa Eco-Stores are designed to reduce energy, and water consumption and waste by using more efficient equipment and practices,” says Bill Schettini, chief marketing officer for the Subway chain. “They are built by using cost effective, eco-friendly material in the interior and exterior design and decor, as well as products and treatments that extend the life of the elements and equipment.

The Kissimmee location opened in November 2007 and is providing an opportunity for the brand to measure and compare energy and water saving principles against a duplicate non-eco Subway restaurant three miles away. While it is too early to provide comparative information, preliminary figures show that the Eco-Store enjoys an energy savings of about 20 percent.

Two new Eco-Stores opened recently in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and La Place, Louisiana. The store in La Place was constructed by the franchisee to replace one of her four stores destroyed by Hurricane Katrina three years ago. The other Eco-Stores are in St. Helens and Keizer Station, Oregon.

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