Green Building, Sustainability/Business Continuity

Wendy’s Orders Community Solar for Over 130 Restaurants

The Wendy’s Company has partnered with community solar provider Ampion Renewable Energy to help Wendy’s restaurants source clean energy and meet corporate sustainability goals. Nearly 100 company-operated restaurants and nearly 40 franchise restaurants in New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts are now enrolled in Ampion+, a product that helps organizations reduce energy costs and secure renewable energy certificates (RECs) that substantiate the use of renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Courtesy: Ampion Renewable Energy

The enrolled restaurants will source between 30% and 100% of their energy from solar without the need to install solar panels on-site. Wendy’s plans to increase the number of restaurants enrolled in community solar through Ampion as additional solar generation capacity comes online and more franchise restaurants enroll in the program. Participation in such community solar projects helps generate and supply renewable electricity to local utility grids, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

“We are excited about the opportunity this partnership provides our company and franchise restaurant operators by making it easier and more accessible to source clean energy while ultimately realizing cost savings,” said Steven Derwoed, VP of global design and construction at Wendy’s. “We are advancing progress toward our emissions reduction goals through community solar participation and RECs. It’s a win-win for the company and our franchisees.”

Last year, Wendy’s set near-term science-based targets to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 47%, and Scope 3 emissions from franchisees by 47% per restaurant by 2030, both from a 2019 baseline. Sourcing renewable energy is a key focus area for Wendy’s in achieving these emissions reduction goals.

Through Ampion, Wendy’s locations have enrolled approximately 27.5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) in community solar. According to the partners, this is equivalent to CO2 emissions from the electricity used by over 2,200 homes for one year. Each kilowatt-hour will be accounted for, tracked, and assigned ownership to a specific restaurant location via RECs through the Ampion+ product.

A REC represents the environmental benefits associated with one megawatt-hour (MWh) of renewable energy matched with electricity usage. Corporations buy RECs from off-site projects to claim responsibility for the clean energy generated and the corresponding environmental benefits in their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reports.

This partnership comes as community solar is continuing to trend upward. A recent report from energy analytics firm Wood Mackenzie estimates that cumulative community solar installations could more than double in the next five years.

Learn more about community solar here.

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