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McDonald’s building 1st ‘green’ restaurant in Caribbean

José Merino, director of development for Arcos Dorados Caribbean Division

Arcos Dorados, the company that manages the McDonald’s brand in Latin America and the Caribbean, offered details Tuesday of its newest location under construction at the Plaza Guaynabo mall that will be its first eco-friendy establishment in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

Company executives said the facility, slated to open in December, is incorporating numerous details and features to be able to earn the Green Building Council’s Leadership in Environmental Engineering and Design certification.

“Every detail of the design, execution of the job and the future functioning of the operations of our new restaurant in Plaza Guaynabo has been designed and structured for maximum leverage and reuse the available resources,” said José Merino, director of development for Arcos Dorados Caribbean Division, while detailing the features that will reduce the restaurant’s environmental footprint.

Construction will include solar lighting poles, rainwater tanks, natural stone, bamboo fiber fabric awnings, recycled steel structure and concrete paving and grass.

The restaurant will sit 138 people and incorporate a MacCafé, a Children’s PlayPlace and a drive-thru window. Once operational, the eco-friendly McDonald’s will be the chain’s fifth sustainable restaurant in Latin America, joining locations in Brazil, Costa Rica, Argentina and Mexico.

“McDonald’s is a company known worldwide for evolution and innovation that it implements so its operation is environmentally friendly,” said Luis Raganato, regional director of Arcos Dorados Caribbean Division. “Efforts like Plaza Guaynabo incorporate best practices to achieve greater efficiency and less environmental impact. Once we achieve LEED certification, this will be the first McDonald’s restaurant to have it in the Caribbean region.”

Among the eco-friendly solutions that will be integrated into the restaurant under construction are: energy efficient lighting; smart air conditioning systems; automated outdoor lighting management systems; dual flush toilets that cuts water consumption by half; automated sinks; and the use of plants that grow under local climatic conditions for the exterior landscape, which combined with an automated sprinkling system yields lower maintenance costs.

“We’ve made progress and we will continue to implement sustainable initiatives in each of our locations across the island,” said Raganado. “These include oil recycling, use of water aerators in bathroom sinks, electric induction lamps in our parking areas, sealants or waterproofing manufactured from recycled tires and solar water heaters.”

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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