We have reported around two months ago that a lot of restaurants across the country have gone green, prompted by the National Restaurant Association’s encouragement to lower their impact on our natural environment. Going green and applying sustainability know-how in restaurant operations not only helps our changing world, but also allows restaurants to lower down their operating costs.
Now, Subway, known to be one of the “healthier” fast food chains in the country, has recently launched five new “eco” locations which are each designed to trim down their energy, waste consumption and water in cost-effective methods.
“All of our new eco-restaurants indicate Subway’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. We are aware that as the biggest franchise chain in America, we have an obligation towards the environment, and we know that we can make a difference. We are consistently working towards that aspiration by continuing to make our restaurant operations more sustainable and environmentally responsible,” said Elizabeth Stewart, the chain’s marketing director.
Subway has always been recognized as one the more socially responsible chains, known for providing its customers with healthful food, as reflected in their menu board and menu card holders, for using a comparatively higher amount of fresh ingredients. They made themselves different from all others with advertisements that focus on healthier food options, taking pride in their nutritional leadership in an industry which has become so concentrated on processed food. They are one, if not the only, quick service restaurant without a fryer and where sandwiches are not pre-made.
All their new eco-restaurants are LEED certified. Other franchisers who cannot remodel their restaurants are integrating sustainability ideas to their establishments, like low flow toilets and faucets, sensor lights, energy-conserving appliances, solar panels, enhanced recycling methods, and more. UCLA plans to host one of the eco-restaurants which are located in its newly-renovated student center. The location boasts of a rooftop garden and terrace.
The company has also started to introduce recyclable cutlery and table napkins crafted out of 100 percent recycled material. They have asked their more than 5,000 locations to stop using menu cards made of plastic and start using paper menus, which could be placed in superior menu card holders. A newly-opened branch in Orange, Connecticut has charging stations for electric cars, and solar panels on the roof to reduce energy consumption.
They have been working on their sustainable efforts for three years now, and proudly reports on their website “that they have considerably lessened their resource consumption and cut their greenhouse gas emissions by 292,936 metric tons of carbon dioxide” – and that’s said to equal 57,244 passenger cars that has not been driven for one year.
Subway’s corporate social responsibility efforts do not stop with going green. Their other social programs include the Fit to Fight Hunger campaign, which aims to increase awareness of more nutritious food options. The Fit to Fight Hunger campaign is currently running in California, Nevada and Hawaii, utilizing print media as well as social media. In the cities where the campaign is running, Subway advertizes the statistical numbers concerning hunger and the food banks which received their donations. Customers are encouraged to support the campaign by donating money, food or time.