Canadian Packaging

Restaurant giant cutting back its packaging

Feeding the world is always a highly noble and worthy cause, but for the world’s largest restaurant operator Yum! Brands, Inc., of Louisville, Ky., doing so with a reduced environmental footprint is quickly becoming one of the company’s most prominent calling cards.


February 17, 2011
by Canadian Packaging Staff

Feeding the world is always a highly noble and worthy cause, but for the world’s largest restaurant operator Yum! Brands, Inc., of Louisville, Ky., doing so with a reduced environmental footprint is quickly becoming one of the company’s most prominent calling cards.

According to the company’s recently-released corporate social responsibility report titled Serving the World, its U.S.-based operations—comprising popular fast-food chains such as Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC and A&W Restaurants—have managed to reduce their combined energy consumption by eight per cent in the last two years, and by 13 per cent over the past five years, through continuous installation of installing environmentally-friendly lighting, heating and air-conditioning systems, as well as new-generation, lower-energy restaurant equipment.

Such savings translate into elimination of 60,000 metric tons of carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions in the last two years—the equivalent of removing 11,000 cars from the roads—and 111,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions in the past five years, says the company, which plans to achieve 10-percent energy and water usage at its restaurants around the world by 2015.

“We believe that our strongest impact and contribution to sustainability lies in the critical parts of our business—the success and diversity of our associates, feeding people, health and nutrition, our supply chain, the environment and community development,” says Yum! Brands chief executive officer David Novak.

“Our ability to make a positive difference in the lives of people throughout the world is virtually unlimited and we are energized about how much more we can contribute. Our ability to make a positive difference in the lives of people throughout the world is virtually unlimited and we are energized about how much more we can contribute to Serving the World,” adds Novak.

“We’ll make this goal a reality over time by building a famous recognition culture where everyone counts, making our brands dynamic and vibrant everywhere and demonstrating that we’re a company with a huge heart.”

Having recently opened up two model ‘sustainable restaurant design’ restaurants in the U.S. and the U.K.—each designed to use 30 percent less energy and water than a conventional building and vastly reduce the waste going out to landfills and incinerators—the company plans to have at least five more similar ‘green’ restaurants, boasting LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification or its foreign equivalent, operating in the U.S. and China before the end of 2012.

According to the reports, all of the company’s U.S. brands now use napkins and fiber drink-cups made from 100-percent recycled-content materials, with its U.S. KFC operations being recognized for their recently-launched reusable food side container in the 2010 Greener Package Awards competition.

By the end of this year, the KFC U.S. operations expect to reduce their use of foam packaging by 62 per cent, says the company, noting that its Pizza Hut franchises in the U.S. now utilize up to 50-percent recycled content pizza boxes, while its U.S.-based Taco Bell operations have to date eliminated more than two million pounds of materials from some of their foodservice packaging products.

For more company information, visit www.yum.com.