Will Dunkin' Donuts' Green Initiative Pay Off?
Let’s talk about something I’m sure most of us love: coffee and donuts.
They’re some of America’s favorite things (right behind Freedom and, for some reason, The Big Bang Theory). At the top of the frosted, fried-dough food chain is Dunkin’ Donuts. And while America might run on Dunkin’ (we’re not getting paid for this, but we should be), Dunkin’ is looking to run on green energy—or, at least it’s encouraging its franchisees to do so.
Corporate sustainability isn’t a new concept for Dunkin’. In fact, they’ve been working at it for some time now.
“In St. Petersburg, Florida, we opened our second LEED Certified restaurant, which achieved Gold certification in August 2012,” the company wrote regarding its 2012 corporate sustainability report. “We launched Power Down, Profit Up, an energy efficiency toolkit designed to generate utility savings for our franchisees. We also developed an Employee Value Proposition for corporate employees and completed an employee engagement survey in 2012.”
This initiative, pushing green energy for its franchisees, is a step in the same direction, though to a slightly different cadence. The new program, DD Green, is designed to help Dunkin’s franchised stores be sustainable in a wide variety of ways including energy-efficient lighting, landscaping, and plumbing.
The DD Green certification process was reviewed by UL Environment and includes a five-stage process. If a store meets these requirements, they get a fun little plaque that lets its customers know it’s DD Green certified. So, while customers are inevitably feeling bad for eating something like three-too-many donuts, they can feel good knowing they’re coming from a storefront that’s green.
Though it’s agreed upon that, yeah, green energy is certainly cool, is it worth it from a business standpoint?
John Herth, senior director of construction and design for Dunkin’ Brands told Forbes in so many words that: duh, of course it is. The upfront cost building a DD Green restaurant is only one to three percent higher than a typical one.
“Many of these additional costs are associated with strategies that have an impact on energy and water reduction, which we expect will pay for themselves over time,” he said.
Not only that, but with competitors such as Starbucks ramping up their green initiatives, Dunkin’ undoubtedly feels as if it needs to step up its game as well. Dunkin’ has a bit more difficult path to walk than Starbucks, as it’s counting on franchise stores to take up the green mantle, whereas Starbucks is approaching it from a more corporate perspective.
The bigger question is whether or not customers will decide it’s time to “go Dunkin’” as the company decides to go green.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.