Subway® Restaurants are serious about reducing waste. That's the idea behind our new restaurant design, which aims to save energy, conserve water, and reduce waste in a big way.
To do that, we're targeting single-use packaging — think plastic bags and paper containers — the type of trash that chokes our oceans and kills our wildlife.
And the changes add up. Those plastic scoops in the prep line could save up to 5.6 million pounds of single-use packaging a year, says Elizabeth Stewart, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. Six-inch sandwiches now come in a smaller size wrap — saving an estimated 4.1 million pounds of trash a year. When you get to the end of the sandwich line, your sub comes wrapped and sealed with a sticker, bag optional.
Other changes are more subtle. LED lighting is in all the new shops. That fresh paint? Low VOC. Wallcoverings are made with approximately 35 percent recycled materials. In the kitchen, new exhaust hoods clear the air and help equipment run more efficiently. New dishwashers, low-flow sinks, and automatic faucets with motion sensors help save water. Individual restaurants can opt for low-flow bathroom sinks and toilets, too (the bathrooms even have foamy hand soap — another water-saving measure).
Over 218 Fresh Forward shops have opened so far, with more rolling out across the U.S. and in other countries. Older restaurants will be updated with the new planet-friendly features as they are remodeled.
We have been focused on sustainability issues for years, using recycled materials in everything from napkins to salad bowls to hot cups. Napkins are made from 100 percent recycled fiber and are processed chlorine-free. They are also printed with soy or water-based inks.
Six of our "Eco Stores" — the first green Subway Restaurants, launched in 2011 — are U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified.
"We didn't set out on this project to start with, say, LEED or classified design. We just tried to make smart choices and act responsibly where we can," says Patrick Rose, Senior Manager of Equipment and Décor. "Now we're going further. Reducing 10 million pounds of waste at the restaurant level is a really big deal."
Top Image Credit: Chris Radcliffe for Subway®