How It Works

DD Green Achievement has three main themes: Energy, Water and Health.  


Energy: includes changes with lighting and windows. For example, specialty lights to reduce energy use, high performance windows to keep cool air in during the summer and out during the winter, and high efficiency heating and cooling equipment to help lower energy use and emissions.


Water: includes installing low-flow faucets and other appliances to prevent and reduce water waste, from water-saving fixtures that create a sufficient flow for washing hands and dishes without wasting water, to landscaping with regionally-friendly plants that need less water.


Health: addresses the health of our guests, franchisees and their employees, and the environment. This includes using sustainable materials and paint to help improve the quality of the air, and building restaurants near public transportation to reduce carbon emissions by encouraging alternative transportation.


Once a franchisee chooses to build a DD Green Achievement restaurant, he or she will work with the Dunkin' Brands construction and design team to choose a mix of strategies to make their restaurant more sustainable.


DD Green Achievement is awarded to a store that achieves a specific set of requirements and number of points:


12 or more points earns DD Green

20 or more points earns DD Green Elite


DD Green Achievement is made up of five main stages that include both requirements and optional strategies that can earn points: Site Development, Store Efficiency, Healthy Indoors, Sustainable Operations, and Innovation and Community.


Site Development:

The Site Development stage is about getting the construction site ready for building in the most sustainable and eco-friendly way. It also considers the building envelope itself and “setting up” the store for the best energy efficiency and minimal environmental impact.


This stage includes strategies such as:

  • Protecting the building site before and during construction
  • Installing regionally friendly landscaping
  • Offering alternative transit options for getting to and from the restaurant
  • Employing a highly water efficient irrigation method
  • Creating a stormwater management plan to protect surrounding water supplies
  • Placing energy efficient frames with a thermal break around high performance windows


Store Efficiency:

The Store Efficiency stage is about the actual equipment and fixtures in the store that can help improve energy efficiency, decrease emissions, and save energy and water.


This stage includes strategies such as:

  • Utilizing LED fixtures throughout the building
  • Installing a highly efficient heating and cooling system
  • Attaching low-flow water fixtures to faucets and toilets to increase water efficiency 
  • Using light sensors to turn off lights in unoccupied rooms
  • Collecting rain water or grey water for plant irrigation
  • Using innovative energy technology, like variable frequency drives, to maximize equipment efficiency


Healthy Indoors:

The Healthy Indoors stage is about the materials used inside the building that help achieve the highest level of occupant air quality and health. It is also about the use of natural lighting to decrease energy use (that release emissions that pollute the air) and improve the experience inside a Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant.


This stage includes strategies such as:

  • Adhering to an Indoor Air Quality Management plan during construction
  • Using paint with zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
  • Sourcing building materials partly or fully made from recycled materials
  • Designing the store and windows to allow in the maximum amount of natural light
  • Installing solar shades to block unwanted extra heat gain inside the store 


Sustainable Operations:

The Sustainable Operations stage is about the day-to-day activities that contribute to the sustainability of a Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant. While other stages are more about the choices by the construction and design team, this stage also covers the activities of the crew, restaurant managers and the customers.


This stage includes strategies such as:

  • Recycling at least 50% of construction waste
  • Training the crew and managers about how to best run a sustainable restaurant and increase its efficiency
  • Committing to keeping the restaurant “green” forever
  • Recycling in-store recyclables
  • Reducing food waste by donating coffee grinds to local composting projects
  • Participating in eco-focused employee engagement activities


Innovation and Community:

The Innovation and Community stage is about advancing sustainability goals by installing renewable energy or electric vehicle charging stations, or by coming up with a whole new sustainable innovation. It also is about introducing the DD Green Achievement restaurant to the community so it can learn about its environmentally-focused benefits.


This stage includes strategies such as:

  • Promoting community outreach 
  • Installing an electric vehicle charging station
  • Implementing a strategy in one of the previous stages that goes above and beyond
  • Innovating a new strategy that meets the goals of DD Green Achievement
  • Sourcing a portion of the restaurant’s energy from renewable energy sources


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