As much as she loves Dunkin’ Brands’ signature orange and pink, Sustainability Senior Specialist Danielle Wood is all about green! She joined Dunkin’ Brands three years ago during her senior year of college as a Risk Management Intern and continued on full-time while she pursued her MBA concentrating in Supply Chain Management and Sustainability, which led to her transition to the Sustainability team.
“I wanted to work for a company that genuinely cared about the planet, and I found Dunkin’ Brands to be the real deal; sustainability is integrated into the core of who we are, from business strategy to our overall culture,” Said Danielle.
As Danielle mentioned, Dunkin’ Brands’ commitment to our planet is central to its business decisions, focusing on sustainable food, restaurants, and communities. In July 2019, the company laid out key goals and accomplishments in its new Sustainability Report, including:
- Offering vegan and plant-based options: The company made a commitment to expand its vegan and plant-based offerings on its menus by 2020. In 2019, Dunkin’ announced a partnership with Beyond Meat® to introduce the Beyond Sausage® Sandwich, featuring a 100% plant-based sausage and became the first U.S. restaurant brand to serve the sandwich following its nationwide launch of the product. Baskin-Robbins also introduced three non-dairy, vegan ice cream flavors in 2019.
- Providing cleaner menu labels: Dunkin’ successfully removed artificial dyes from all donuts, baked goods, breakfast sandwiches, and coffee flavorings and nearly all frozen beverages. Baskin-Robbins also removed artificial dyes from its ice cream sold at both its restaurants and in quarts and pints at retail locations, as well as from its syrups, sauces, and beverages.
- Improving energy efficiency: Dunkin’ launched DD Green Achievement™ five years ago, designed to help franchisees build more sustainable and energy-efficient restaurants. With more than 340 DD Green Achievement restaurants as of May 2019, Dunkin’ is on track to meet its goal of opening 500 DD Green Achievement restaurants by the end of 2020.
- Supporting coffee sustainability: A percentage of sales from every pound of Original Blend coffee beans sold to Dunkin’ franchisees for use in their restaurants now goes to World Coffee Research (WCR), a nonprofit collaborative research and development program of the global coffee industry. Dunkin’ Brands also joined the Sustainable Coffee Challenge, a collaborative effort among companies, governments, NGOs, research institutions, and others dedicated to making coffee the world’s first fully sustainable agricultural product.
- Transitioning from foam: Dunkin’ is on track to meet a watershed sustainability goal: the elimination of polystyrene foam cups in its global supply chain by mid-2020. In U.S. restaurants, Dunkin’ has begun rolling out a new double-walled paper cup for all hot beverages and successfully tested and approved a new recyclable hot coffee cup lid made of #5 polypropylene.
Of all these sustainability achievements, Anthony Epter, Director of Commercialization for Dunkin’ & Baskin-Robbins U.S. and Canada, is most proud of the company’s introduction of plant-based additions to the menus.
“My team had a direct role in bringing our new vegan offerings to life on a commercial scale, which can often be a complex process,” he said. “We’ve achieved great success ahead of the original timeline, and now we can deliver more choices to guests to fit their lifestyles.”
Anthony works closely with Danielle’s team in his role leading the commercialization of Dunkin’s and Baskin-Robbins’ food and beverage products.
In addition to Anthony’s collaboration with Danielle to keep sustainability front and center while bringing Dunkin’ and Baskin-Robbins menu items to market, the two are also members of the Green Team at Dunkin’ Brands’ headquarters.
“The Green Team welcomes all Dunkin’ Brands employees to the table to talk about green initiatives in our workplace and also the bigger picture of sustainability for our two brands,” said Danielle.
Since the Green Team started nearly four years ago, it has grown to more than 30 members. The group recently revamped the building’s recycling program, invited Conservation International to educate employees about the importance of sustainable coffee farming, and hosted a drive for new and used shoes for Soles4Souls, which creates sustainable jobs and provides relief by distributing shoes and clothing around the world.