McDonald’s USA has made progress towards achieving its 2030 climate action target by signing its first large-scale virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Aviator Wind West.
The company will purchase 380MW of clean energy generated by the Aviator Wind West project and a solar project located in Texas, US.
McDonald’s chief supply chain and sustainability officer Francesca DeBiase said: “As we look at the most pressing social and environmental challenges facing the world today, McDonald’s has a responsibility to take action, and our customers expect us to do what is right for the planet.
“These US wind and solar projects represent a significant step in our work to address climate change, building on years of renewable energy sourcing in many of our European markets. We want to keep this momentum going, and we’re excited for what’s next.”
Located in Texas’ Coke County, the Aviator Wind West project is developed by Apex Clean Energy and is owned by Ares Management.
McDonald’s VPPA agreement is expected to create 600 new employment opportunities during the peak construction period of wind and solar facilities, in addition to 13 long-term jobs.
Both projects are expected to generate more than $200m in local tax revenue.
Expected to be operational next year, the two renewable energy facilities will have the capacity to offset more than 700,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.
The energy generated by these two renewable power facilities will be sufficient to power more than 2,500 McDonald’s restaurants.
World Wildlife Fund Climate and Renewable Energy senior director Marty Spitzer said: “McDonald’s significant investment in 380MWs of renewable energy to cover a large chunk of the GHG emissions from the electricity purchased by their franchisees is groundbreaking.
“Knowing their franchisees are typically small businesses that don’t have the capacity or resources to buy renewable energy at the scale needed to tackle the climate challenge, McDonald’s has taken a road untraveled. Other companies with thousands of franchisees need to take notice.”