Our strategy is focused on two primary fronts: integrating energy and water saving measures into how we design and build new restaurants, and retrofitting our existing restaurants with more energy and water efficient features.
We have embedded our commitment to energy and water efficiency into our process for designing and building new restaurants by aligning our restaurant prototypes with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. While we only pursue LEED certification in select instances where there are specific benefits for doing so - today we have nine LEED-certified restaurants - using the LEED standards as the platform for our restaurant prototypes means that all new Darden restaurants integrate a wide range of energy efficiency as well as other sustainability features.
Within existing restaurants, a key focus of our retrofitting efforts has been transitioning to LED light bulbs – which are ten times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and last up to 20 times longer – in our dining areas and in our exterior lighting. In addition, in our kitchens, we are working on ways to transition toward LED Lamps and fixtures in lieu of compact florescent and incandescent bulbs.
Another of our major initiatives has been to expand our piloting of Energy Management Systems that enable us to better monitor and control the temperature, lighting, and refrigeration in our restaurants – and, in doing so, to use energy more efficiently and cost-effectively.
We’ve implemented a wide range of water-saving initiatives in our restaurants – from low-flow faucets and pasta-cookers to new processes for washing floors and inspecting for leaks – as well as a new mind-set throughout our restaurants that recognizes that every drop counts.
We also continue to rollout our new heated dipper well equipment – which results in significant savings of approximately 30,000 gallons of water per well, per year – as well as expand our use of water-efficient landscaping and drip irrigation outside our restaurants.
Pursuing our Goals