The newest corporation riding the green wave might surprise environmentalists. A new Kentucky Fried Chicken outpost in Indianapolis is gunning for LEED certification (short for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the U.S. Green Building Council. Before you give the Colonel a pat on the back, we feel compelled to mention that this is different from green certification from the Green Restaurant Association, which evaluates sustainability efforts in both food and waste control. LEED is purely design-oriented -- think energy-efficient lighting and building materials.
So what's special about this KFC? Well, they're using "reusable containers," meaning plastic instead of styrofoam, plus paper boxes (weren't those infamous buckets already paper?). To this we say, "about time." But on its website, the company touts the reduction of styrofoam by 62 percent -- not 100 -- and plastic by 17 percent. Not exactly groundbreaking stuff.
The building itself is well-designed, however. It's got long-life LED lighting, locally sourced building materials and fixtures that reduce water use -- all of which is estimated to reduce energy waste by 25 percent, according to the company press release.
It might not be earth-shattering change, but we'll take it.