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Wendy’s honored for energy efficiency

BY Marianne Wilson

The U.S. Department of Energy recognized The Wendy's Company, and one of its franchisees, Wendco Group, for its energy-saving efforts.

Wendy’s Company and Wendco Group, which operates 43 Wendy's restaurants in Alabama and Florida, are participants in the DOE’s Better Buildings Challenge. The program aims to make commercial, public, industrial and residential buildings 20% more energy efficient over the next decade.

Wendy's Company has committed to reducing energy consumption in U.S. company-owned restaurants by 20% per transaction by 2025. Wendy's is also the first restaurant company to include franchisees in the Better Buildings Challenge.

“We see environmental stewardship in restaurant development as a big responsibility, and it connects to our values," said Abigail Pringle, chief development officer for The Wendy's Company. "We believe stewardship is a journey, a long-term commitment. It's not something we are simply 'checking off the list,' rather we're driving purposeful change with bold goals that are brought to life through our culture and our business practices of how we plan, design, engineer, construct and operate our restaurants."

Wendy's restaurant at 3113 Airport Blvd. in Mobile, Ala., a Wendco Group owned location, is being featured as a “Showcase Project” for the Better Buildings Challenge. Wendco Group has pursued aggressive strategies for lowering energy use across their building portfolio, including ongoing equipment maintenance, strategic energy upgrades and high efficiency equipment installation.

Its Mobile, Ala., location achieved remarkable energy reduction with energy use per transaction falling by more than 50%. Overall energy savings since project completion equals nearly $8,000, despite an 18% increase in electric utility rates.

"The leadership demonstrated by Wendy's and its franchisee is tremendous," said Maria T. Vargas, Better Buildings Challenge director, U.S. Department of Energy. "Not only is The Wendy's Company focused on bettering its own corporate-level energy efficiency, it is doing so in a way that can reach thousands more restaurants.

Over the past three years, Wendy's has accelerated progress in reducing energy use by implementing more than 1,100 individual energy upgrade projects at more than 550 restaurants. These projects include the installation of LED lights in the interior and exterior, upgrading HVAC systems and installing more efficient motors in walk in coolers.

These actions have saved more than 13 million kilowatt hours (kWh) which, for comparison, translates into the amount of electricity to power nearly 1,200 average U.S. homes for a year.

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