Building Environmental Stewardship
from the Ground Up

More than 80% of McDonald’s restaurants are owned and operated by independent Franchisees.


McDonald’s franchisees make a difference in their local communities every day around the globe. Three franchisees from across the U.S. are leading the way on Planet and Community engagement efforts. These efforts enable our franchisees to strengthen their businesses and to better connect with customers, restaurant employees, and their local communities.

Learn more from Ric Richards (Cary, NC), Candace Spiel (Riverside, CA), and Wendy Lommen (Rochester, MN).

Sustainability & Community Engagement in the Restaurant

Note: In Cary, NC feature, the second LEED® certification is pending.


Ric Richards acquired his first McDonald’s restaurant in 1988. Since then, he has owned restaurants in three states, twice earning the Ronald Award, a prestigious recognition for franchisees. In 2009, Ric opened the first-ever LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold-Certified McDonald’s in North Carolina, and in 2014 he opened a second restaurant that is also certified as LEED® Gold. Ric is also a 10+ year member of the Board of Trustees for the Ronald McDonald House of Durham, North Carolina.


“As a proud McDonald’s Franchisee, I feel strongly that taking advantage of the LEED® Volume Program to build a green-certified, environmentally-friendly restaurant is definitely worth the effort. Residents and customers appreciate the fact that we are giving back to the community by saving water and electricity. They feel good about supporting a business that has made such a strong commitment to environmental stewardship- and it makes our managers and crew members feel good, too.”

Ric Richards

Raleigh and Cary, North Carolina, USA



Energizing Employees for the Environment

Nearly 1,300 employees of McDonald’s U.K., Ireland, Denmark and Sweden have volunteered to serve as the environmental voice in approximately 1,000 restaurants, helping with existing environmental initiatives and generating new ideas. Employees receive a day of training on environmental issues, as well as regular communications to learn about new opportunities and share ideas. Since the program began in 2010, restaurants have participated in activities related to energy efficiency, waste recycling and community clean-ups. The growing network of enthusiasts raises environmental awareness and engages colleagues in environmental improvements. To further promote best practices, a section of the McDonald’s U.K. website is dedicated to the environment, with opportunities to learn about McDonald’s environmental activities, and purchase environmentally conscious items at reduced prices.


“We incorporated environmental awareness into our crew training so they can help save energy and water right away. We hold regular environmental meetings, share information with other owner/operators and involve local government councils, police, community groups and the local media. In 2013, we asked our customers to vote on the community site they wanted us to clean up in our annual litter pick, an event that included crew and managers from all 11 of our restaurants.”

Amy McDyre

Training Officer and “Planet Champion”
Employee of Glyn Pashley, McDonald’s Franchisee
Rugby, U.K