McDonald's - Jing Tan - 2014

Jing Tan | Duke University

  • Jing Tan
Metro Area: 
Facility Type: 
Office Building

Jing Tan assisted McDonald’s China’s progress towards the worldwide goal of 20 percent energy consumption reduction by 2020 from a 2012 baseline. LED lighting, high-efficiency HVAC systems and kitchen equipment were the primary approaches to saving energy identified.

Tan was asked to assess McDonald’s China current energy status, evaluate existing energy strategies, select best practices for replication and identify new opportunities. She started with energy data analysis and store investigation. Then, she established a kitchen energy consumption benchmark, which would assist store managers in saving energy.

Regarding best practices, Tan identified that LED lighting has a great business case and should be expanded and installed throughout McDonald’s China kitchens. Also, Tan investigated simple communications tools to remind employees of how to reduce energy use, and a computer-based scheduling tool would reduce wasted energy during store operation. Additionally, variable frequency drives (VFDs) could be implemented not only in HVAC systems for the dining areas, but also in compressors in walk-in freezers in new stores.

If implemented, recommended projects could save more than 14,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity when projected expansion and growth of McDonald’s stores is taken into account. This could also mean$2 million in potential annual energy savings and 14,000 tons of carbon emissions reductions.

Fellow Profile

The reason I applied for EDF Climate Corps:
Frankly, I love working on numbers and figuring out the best solution to energy problems through number games. However, I always wonder if saving money is the best incentive for solving environmental and energy problems. I hope that the experience with EDF Climate Corps will consolidate my career goals and help me to strengthen my communication skills.

A recent professional or volunteer experience I've enjoyed:
I joined China Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Co., Ltd, the largest coal producer in China, as an intern. There, I learned that problems cannot be solely attributed to science and technology issues. From my experience and conversations with experts, I realized that the effective implementation of environmental projects entails not only advanced science and technology, but also a toolbox of management strategies, policy supports and project plans.

One skill I hope to make use of this summer:
Communication is very important - especially for consulting work. This summer, I will need to communicate with representatives from my host organization to identify the energy efficiency opportunities and determine the cost-and-benefit analysis. Better understanding of the host organization’s expectations will provide guidance for the energy efficiency projects. Thus, I hope to practice and improve my communication skills.

My favorite class or activity in graduate school:
Because I have a passion for disseminating Chinese culture, I joined the Chinese Conversation Club at Duke University as a facilitator. Every week there is a presentation followed by a group discussion. Our topics include Chinese movies, art, history, cuisine and politics. Thanks to the support from the Duke International House, I can share the culture of my motherland and embrace ideas from other perspectives.

My favorite outdoor place:
I would say the beach is my favorite outdoor place because I love ocean. The beach in California impressed me a lot with its sunshine, sand and ocean. Just lying on the sand and relaxing would be very enjoyable after an overwhelming finals week. In China, my family loves to spend vacations at the beach because of the fresh, clean air.

One thing I hope to achieve:
After graduation, I hope to contribute to establishing the carbon trading system in China. Some pilot carbon trading programs have been initiated in China; however, the system has not been completely set up yet.