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Phase-out of ozone-depleting substances
and fluorinated greenhouse gases in the Russian Federation

McDonald’s Europe installs over 3,300 pieces of HFC-free refrigeration equipment


July 16, 2012

McDonald’s Europe installs over 3,300 pieces of HFC-free refrigeration equipment

As part of McDonald’s Europe’s promotion of HFC-free refrigeration technology the company has installed over 3,300 HFC-free meat freezers, frozen fry dispensers, reach-ins and salad displays, demonstrating their commitment to an HFC-free future. In the US the company is investing in ammonia for industrial refrigeration.

Over the last several years McDonald’s Europe has implemented a non-HFC purchasing policy for new or replacement equipment. Since challenging its suppliers to find alternative refrigeration technologies the company has opened two HFC-free restaurants in Denmark, and approved HFC-free alternatives available for six pieces of refrigeration equipment:

  • Juice dispenser
  • Ice cube machine,
  • Frozen fry dispenser
  • Drinks system
  • Reach-in cooler and freezer
  • Meat/wall freezer

McDonald’s steps up actions to green it restaurants

McDonald’s joins other industry heavyweights incorporating concerted sustainability efforts in their business models, including Subway and Starbucks, but is so far leading the way when it comes to the introduction of climate and ozone friendly refrigeration technology. However, addressing their significant environmental footprint will entail unique challenges, not least of which, is their franchise business model and the need to introduce green practices in different countries with different cultures.

In Europe, the company is continuing to work with its suppliers to push for viable alternatives for all of its refrigerant equipment, but already to date has already implemented:

  • 1,495 HFC-free meat freezers;
  • 845 frozen fry dispensers;
  • 1025 reach-ins and salad displays;
  • 1 CO2 heat pump providing comfort cooling.

Moreover, by 2012, over 270 McDonald’s restaurants across Europe have achieved up to Gold and 18 are up to Platinum on the company’s own Green Building Guidelines‘ standard.

In the US following the US SNAP approval of three hydrocarbons for small applications, McDonald’s are now also showing increased interest solutions being offered by true, a leading supplier of bottle coolers and freezer equipment.

Initial steps to green McDonald’s industrial refrigeration at Clayton facility

As the world’s largest promoter of processed beef products McDonald’s requires the use of huge amounts of refrigeration machinery and coolants in the slaughterhouses, manufacturing plants and transportation fleets.

Baltimore-based Northeast Foods is a commercial baking powerhouse with 13 production facilities, supplying McDonald’s with most of their production of buns for hamburgers. The Clayton facility Northeast recently installed it’s first ammonia refrigeration plant, recognized by McDonald’s in its 2012 Best of Sustainable Supply report.


McDonald’s continues to be a member of RefrigerantsNaturally! an award-winning initiative created in 2005 with Coca Cola, Unilever, Carlsberg, IKEA, Pepsi, the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) and Greenpeace to promote HFC-free alternative technologies for business implementation.