Dunkin' Brands

At a Glance


Food Services

Project Type

Commercial Energy Efficiency




Canton, MA


Sanderson aided DBI in reducing its negative environmental impact by focusing on the activities of individual franchisees within the Dunkin' brand.


Since forming its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) team in 2007, Dunkin’ Brands, Inc. (DBI) has prioritized reducing its energy use and environmental impact. As DBI’s second EDF Climate Corps fellow, Nicholas Sanderson was tasked with continuing the effort to find opportunities to reduce Dunkin’s environmental footprint.


Sanderson examined several DBI-designed prototypes used by franchisees when building a new store or remodeling an existing store. The prototype – a set of architectural drawings outlining details from flooring to wall-coverings – maintains the same look and feel across all DBI Dunkin’ Donuts locations. Sanderson and DBI also worked with equipment and building suppliers to establish a nationwide supply chain for franchisees. Sanderson found that though the prototype is highly efficient, new construction at individual locations sometimes follows it insufficiently. 

Potential Impact

Sanderson engaged with and educated franchisees about the importance of the design specifications, as well as the long-term benefits they provide. Working with energy service companies, energy efficiency consultants, commodity brokerages and public utility groups, he also formed a framework for addressing energy needs within the large franchise network.

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