At Wendy’s, we want our values and our sustainability priorities to reflect just as prominently in our corporate office locations as they do in our restaurants around the globe. Below provides a snapshot of some of our key sustainability initiatives in our office setting and pilot program locations.
In 2021, Wendy’s achieved a 17% reduction in energy per square foot for our Company operations against our 2012 baseline. The Restaurant Support Center along with the nearly 300 Company-operated restaurants reporting data reduced source emissions to the amount equivalent to taking nearly 5,000 cars off the road.
Wendy’s employee-led Squarely Sustainable Council brings together passionate employees and subject-matter experts to advance environmental efforts at our Restaurant Support Center, like our campus pollinator garden. During 2021, the council hosted Earth Week activities and launched its Idea Forum and Competition which harnessed the creativity of Wendy’s people to crowdsource new and innovative ideas to help the Company reduce its environmental footprint.
The test kitchen in our Restaurant Support Center is where Wendy’s works to develop new and improved menu items, and where we test out those items with customers.
In 2020, we started updating our facilities to refine our innovation process for 2021 and beyond. The test kitchen now has three fully functional kitchen lines, so a panel might occupy one while a cooking demo takes place on another. New, more energy-efficient equipment, along with new LED lighting and independently operated hoods, will save energy, too. When construction wraps, customer participants in our sensory panels will have a separate entrance to improve their experience. The facility has always had controlled access and still does. Now, more windows let in more light and—along with monitors in the adjacent food theatre—let visitors see more of the fun.
As part of our commitment to sustainability, Wendy’s has designated an existing company restaurant as a test bed for sustainability initiatives that may one day extend across our brand.
Moving forward, we will test and trial sustainability initiatives, including sustainable packaging materials and modified waste handling solutions, at this restaurant. We also hope to highlight additional areas like energy and water usage.
We know that one restaurant location won’t provide the answer to every pressing sustainability issue. Yet, establishing one restaurant as the focus of our innovation will help us test new materials, methods and messages in a real operating environment where customers and crew can experience them first-hand.