Yum China has just launched KFC’s first Green Pioneer Stores in Beijing and Hangzhou, as it works toward building a network of net-zero restaurants in the future.
The move is part of the company’s climate strategy and a roadmap to achieving net-zero by 2050, following its pledge to Business Ambition for 1.5°C Commitment Letter to the Science-Based Target initiative (SBTi) last year.
“We are committed to driving meaningful change and pioneering in the restaurant industry towards net-zero emissions. Building Green Pioneer Stores is an important part of our journey,” said Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China.
Following the company’s 4R principles (reduce, reuse, recycle, replace), KFC has already incorporated several environmentally friendly practices in its stores across the country, such as:
- Solar panels in its Hangzhou store generate an estimated 10,000 kWh of energy each year, which helps reduce carbon emissions from electricity consumption.
- An Internet of Things-based (IoT) intelligent restaurant energy management system which helps improve the energy efficiency of Green Pioneer stores by around 10 per cent annually.
- Each Green Pioneer Store is equipped with a Tubular Daylighting System that uses natural lighting, reducing electricity consumption.
- Using eco-friendly materials such as ceramic floor tiles made from recycled energy, low-carbon bamboo and alt-leather made from recycled KFC coffee grounds.
The company said the Green Pioneer Stores will also allow customers to experience and learn about eco-friendly restaurants by integrating “green interior design”.
At its Beijing store, a Family Bucket is made entirely of recycled packaging. While in Hangzhou, a wall section was intentionally left unfinished with an opening to show customers the restaurant’s eco-friendly construction process.
While the restaurant chain has already integrated environmentally friendly initiatives, the company aims to further improve its emissions reduction by 15 per cent each year.
“We will continue to explore the utilization of innovative technologies in restaurant construction and operations to promote sustainable development and contribute to the low carbon economy,” Wat added.