We believe our business operations and the natural world are closely linked, and we are working to make the world a better place by reducing our impact on the environment.

We continually strive to be good stewards of the environment by working closely with our vendors to purchase products and services with a view toward energy efficiency and reduce our environmental impact. Below are just a few of the many measures we are taking to become a leader of sustainable practices in our industry.

Energy Management

We strive to become best-in-class in the way we purchase and use energy in our restaurants. Wendy’s always considers energy efficiency in the selection of all equipment, goods and services. These are just a few of the ways we’ve made progress on this initiative:

  • Use of LED lights for new and remodeled restaurants
  • Conversion of more than 500 restaurants to exterior LED parking lot lighting
  • Conversion of more than 325 restaurants to more efficient walk in cooler and freezer motors
  • Adoption of ultra-high efficiency HVAC systems in new restaurant construction
  • Use of energy efficient ENERGY STAR® certified kitchen equipment when applicable 


In January 2016, we announced our participation with the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge.  Among the first restaurants to join the Challenge, we committed to reduce energy consumption in our U.S. company-owned restaurants by 20% per transaction by 2025. 
Over the past several years, our restaurant development team has been working to develop the best way restaurants can use energy more efficiently and we continually share these learnings and best practices with our franchise community.  Energy conservation makes good business sense, and it is a reflection of the responsibility we feel to be a good neighbor and steward of the environment.

Click here to view our profile on the Better Buildings Challenge Partners Page.

Further, since 2013 we’re proud of the significant forward progress made in reducing energy use through implementation of more than 1,100 individual energy upgrade projects at more than 550 restaurants. These projects include the installation of LED lights in the interior and exterior, upgrading HVAC systems and installing more efficient motors in walk in coolers. These actions have saved more than 13 million kilowatt hours (kWh) which, for comparison, translates into the amount of electricity to power nearly 1,200 average U.S. homes for a year.


As a long-time member, Wendy’s® supports the commitment the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has made to develop a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.

Wendy’s is a strong advocate of energy conservation and sustainability. Beginning this journey more than six years ago, the restaurant company built two LEED® certified restaurants, one in Bridgeton, Mo., and the other in Atlanta, Ga., to gain critical learnings and explore the possibility of incorporating energy conservation efforts in new and existing restaurants.

Further, the Thomas Building and Conference Center, constructed in 2012 and located on the campus of the Wendy’s Restaurant Support Center in Dublin, Ohio, was awarded the LEED Silver certification in spring 2013 for designing and constructing a building to sustainable standards including energy efficient lighting and HVAC.  At more than 75,000 square feet in size, the building houses a 6,500 square foot conference space, offices and the Company’s state-of-the art fitness center. 

In its home state of Ohio, Wendy’s took a leadership role when it implemented energy upgrades at nearly 30 Columbus-area restaurants and its Restaurant Support Center. Wendy’s was recognized by AEP Ohio for its commitment to energy efficiency in 2014 which saved more than 1.2 million kWh or more than 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually which is equivalent to taking nearly 200 cars off the road per year.

Packaging & Recycling

While we continue to explore innovative opportunities to expand recycling efforts, one of the biggest challenges to recycling is that food packaging is not widely accepted by recyclers. Packaging that's stained with food residue is typically rejected due to contamination risk during the recycling process. In addition, a large part of our sales are through the Pick-Up window, so we're reliant on curbside recycling programs offered by many of the communities in which we operate.

It's a different story behind the counter. Many of our restaurants recycle corrugated cardboard boxes and used cooking oil, two items that can add up to a significant amount of waste for any restaurant.