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McDonald’s in innovative solar energy deal


McDonald's Corp. has entered into an agreement to cover 100% of its U.S. logistics supply chain’s electricity load with renewable energy.

The fast-food giant  and all five members of its North American Logistics Council (NALC) – Armada, Earp Distribution, Martin Brower, Mile Hi Foods and The Anderson-DuBose Company – have signed agreements with  Enel North America to purchase renewable energy and the associated renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Enel Green Power's Blue Jay solar project in Grimes County, Texas.

This innovative aggregation of a major company purchasing power jointly with its logistics partners means the electricity load of McDonald's USA's entire logistics supply chain for all its U.S. restaurants is expected to be 100%  supported by renewable energy.

The Blue Jay solar project is expected to be fully operational in 2023. Once complete, McDonald's and its suppliers' combined electricity purchase is expected to amount to an estimated average of over 470,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy annually. This is equivalent to avoiding over 170,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually or the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from over 80 million trucking miles driven each year2.

"Adding Blue Jay solar to our U.S. renewable energy portfolio is one of the many important steps in our journey to achieving our net zero aspirations," said Bob Stewart, senior VP and chief supply chain officer, North America, at McDonald's. "This deal is a unique example of how McDonald's and its logistics partners are combining efforts to leverage their reach and scale to tackle supply chain emissions together. We are excited about our collective potential to help address climate change and drive continuous improvement."

Supply chain emissions, which are categorized as Scope 3 emissions by GHG Protocol, are challenging to address and measure because they're driven by activities that are beyond the direct control of the organization, such as the transportation and distribution of products. Scope 3 emissions account for 75% of companies' GHG emissions on average, according to the 2022 report released by CDP.

The combined purchase of 189 megawatts (MW) of renewable power, equivalent to more than 900 U.S. McDonald's restaurants-worth of renewable energy annually, is intended to help McDonald's and the NALC members meet their ambitious climate commitments.

"While major corporations are increasingly encouraging and advising their partners on how to reduce their carbon emissions, McDonald's took it one step further by becoming the anchor buyer alongside its suppliers,” said Danny Fahey, NALC sustainability lead and VP of U.S. strategy at Martin Brower.  “McDonald's and the NALC recognized early on that collaboration across the supply chain is the only way to effectively address electricity emissions for all logistics suppliers. This aggregation represents how a joint effort will be essential to making continued progress towards climate goals."

"This innovative deal demonstrates how Enel is helping major companies take a hands-on approach in helping their partners decarbonize their operations," said Paolo Romanacci, head of Enel North America's renewable energy business, Enel Green Power. "We're honored to be part of such a monumental deal and look forward to helping McDonald's and its suppliers achieve their supply chain emission reduction goals through this tailored solution."

Enel, McDonald's and its suppliers are committed to creating long-term value in the local communities surrounding the Blue Jay solar project. The companies signed a mutual letter of intent to participate in Enel’s Premium Offer progran and co-develop community investment projects that align with the core values of each company.

The buyer aggregation was facilitated by Coho Climate Advisors.   

"Close collaboration amongst all parties during a challenging time in the renewable energy industry proved crucial to create this impressive agreement," said Gavin Ahern, director of client service for Coho Climate Advisors.

McDonald's is the world's leading global foodservice retailer with nearly 40,000 locations in over 100 countries. Approximately 95% of McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business owners. resources. Explore how McDonald's is driving positive impact and making progress on its ESG priorities.

About Enel North America

Enel North America, part of the Enel Group, is a clean energy leader in North America and is working to electrify the economy and build a net-zero carbon future by decarbonizing energy supply, electrifying transportation, creating resilient grids, and promoting a just, equitable transition. 

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