In the first year of this century, the United States saw a surge in burger and chicken restaurants.
Now, there’s one thing that could have the biggest impact on their business model: climate change.
It’s a concern for restaurants like KFC, which will be open in the heart of the American Midwest for a full year and has been trying to keep its carbon footprint as low as possible.
This week, the fast food giant announced that it will close the doors of its first U.S. location and invest $20 million in an air quality monitoring project in southern Michigan.
But the chain isn’t just taking action against climate change: it’s also opening new restaurants and developing a range of new products to offset its carbon emissions.
As it is, KFC has a lot of carbon emissions in its system, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
It emits 565,000 metric tons of CO2 (compared to the United Kingdom’s 6.3 million metric tons).
The company says that these emissions are offset by a “zero-emission approach” to the food service industry, which includes cutting out artificial ingredients, cooking with less water, and using more plant-based ingredients.
KFC’s announcement comes as President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that requires the Food and Drug Administration to ban new GMOs, and has directed the Agriculture Department to study how to address the impact of climate change on farm products.
“It’s a challenge to be part of this economy that’s being built, but it’s an opportunity,” said Mike White, CEO of KFC.
“We’re trying to find a way to mitigate and reduce the environmental impact.”
In addition to the new U.M. KFGH, KFI, and KFC locations, K-Mart will also open a plant in southern Minnesota and expand production in Iowa.
KFC’s plan is a big shift for the chain.
Since the 1950s, it has been focused on making burgers and chicken dishes and has never opened a new location in the U.K. But as the climate continues to shift, so too has the business model of the chain, according the EPA.
The company’s carbon footprint jumped from 2.3 metric tons in the 1990s to 13.6 metric tons today, according to the Environmental Working Group.
That number could double in the next decade.
The most recent figures from the US Environmental Protection Administration show that KFC uses 6.2 million metric pounds of carbon dioxide, or 17.4 million metric tonnes, a rise of more than 90 percent since the beginning of the 20th century.
But the company’s biggest challenge isn’t the rise in carbon emissions, but its energy use.
The U.F.O. report found that KFGA uses 25 percent more electricity than it used in 2010, and that the company consumes an average of 2,500 kilowatt hours per day.
The number of people employed at KFC in 2016 was 7,000, and its workforce is projected to reach 5.4million by 2060.
K-FC has said it has reduced its carbon pollution by 20 percent since 2009, and the company plans to open a new restaurant in the new year.
If KFC can reduce its carbon footprints by 20 per cent, it can double its sales by 2025, and it can reach 2 billion in sales by 2040, the company said in its press release.
The chain says that the changes are being made in the face of increasing competition, but this will require the company to reevaluate its entire business model.
“The business model is changing, and there’s a lot at stake in that, and we’re working hard to adapt,” said White.