By Aimee Chanthadavong

KFC Australia has opened the country’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certifiable quick service restaurant at East Maitland in New South Wales.

LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based, market¬ driven program that provides global third-party verification of green buildings – once formally certified, the East Maitland restaurant will mark KFC’s ninth LEED store globally.

The restaurant features the latest in environmentally-friendly building design, operations and technology, expected to divert more than 40,000 kilograms of waste from landfill each year, reduce energy use for lighting by around 50 per cent and reduce water use by up to 20 per cent.

Nathan Arthur, design & construction manager for KFC Australia, told RetailBiz that all new company owned KFC Australia restaurants will be LEED certifiable by 2015.

“As with all rating systems LEED is made up of several categories for which compliance will depend on each restaurant’s own set of unique circumstances and requirements. Therefore, while not all our new restaurants will be a replica of the KFC East Maitland store, we will be using many of the design features, technologies and equipment we’ve adopted at the East Maitland restaurant in new builds moving forward,” he said.

The new restaurant features state of the art recycling systems, expected to divert around 800 kilograms of waste from landfill each week. Everything from KFC’s canola cooking oil, cardboard, bottles and cans can be recycled, with food and general waste turned into compost.

Overall energy use is expected to be reduced by at least 16 per cent, through the installation of LED lighting throughout the entire site, innovative day-light and movement sensors in strategic areas, as well as industry-leading kitchen ventilation technology.

A range of water-saving measures have also been implemented, such as the installation of water efficient landscaping, tankless water heaters and water conservation systems for taps, bathrooms and urinals, expected to reduce water use by up to 20 per cent.

“As one of the largest quick service restaurant brands in Australia we believe it is our responsibility to minimise the impact of our business on the environment we live and operate in,” Arthur said.

“KFC Australia is committed to making substantial investments in research and initiatives designed to reduce our environmental impact, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.”

“Globally, we already have eight LEED restaurants, including locations in Turkey, U.S.A, China and U.K. Opening KFC East Maitland will mark KFC’s ninth LEED certified store globally, and also signals KFC’s global commitment that all new builds will be LEED certifiable by 2015.”
Other green initiatives KFC Australia has taken include working in partnership with Closed Loop on the Closed Loop Recycling Program, the first national ‘public place recycling program’ in the quick service restaurant industry.

“A specially designed Front of House recycling bin was developed to meet the needs of our customers and restaurant. The Front of House recycling bin encourages our customers to recycle bottles, cans and Krusher cups therefore diverting this material from landfill. This bin is currently in 180 KFC restaurants nationally,” Arthur said.