A San Antonio Red Lobster Earns LEED Certification

The Red Lobster restaurant at 4550 NW 410 in San Antonio, Texas was officially awarded Silver certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for New Construction (NC) from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). This location is one of the first Darden restaurants to be LEED Silver certified. Darden, parent company to Red Lobster and the world's largest full-service restaurant company, features some of the most recognizable and successful brands in casual dining, including Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52.

The 7029-square-foot restaurant, which just opened in March, features a number of sustainable design elements, including:

— Recycled Building Materials: Supplies such as sheetrock, doors and windows are made from recycled content. The flooring features carpet squares made from 100 percent recycled materials.
— Increased Use of Natural Light: Incorporating more windows more frequently into the building's exterior reduces the need for artificial light.
— Energy Efficient Equipment and Fixtures: Energy and water usage is reduced by incorporating items such as Energy Star-rated equipment and low-flow water nozzles in the kitchen and low-flow faucets in the restrooms. New LED parking lot light bulbs and low wattage energy efficient light bulbs use less energy and are replaced less often. Heat recovery tanks allow the capture of heat generated from the freezer/cooler compressors to aid in supplemental heating of hot water to reduce the energy required to heat water and prolong the life of the equipment.

"Caring for the environment has always been a priority for Red Lobster; it's part of our heritage," said Red Lobster President Kim Lopdrup. "This new restaurant is an example of what we're currently doing to make our business even more sustainable. Through these efforts, we're able to better protect and enhance the communities where we do business, while setting ourselves up for long term success."

The effort is part of Darden Restaurant's Sustainable Restaurant Design initiative, which is part of the company's broader sustainability efforts aimed at limiting business impact on the environment, while also enhancing the operational efficiency of its restaurants. Darden aims to reduce energy and water use in its 1,800 restaurants by 15 percent by the year 2015.

Source: Darden Restaurants Inc.