At a Glance


Food Services

Project Type

Engagement and Behavior Change




Oak Brook, IL


Pia Kristiansen helped McDonald's engage employees at the crew level to decrease waste and save money on electricity.


Pia Jean Kristiansen spent her summer as an EDF Climate Corps fellow at McDonald’s Corporation, headquartered in Oak Brook, IL. With more than 1.7 million employees in 32,000 locations worldwide, the majority of which work in the restaurants, McDonald’s recognized an opportunity to enlist Kristiansen to identify strategies to increase awareness and participation in energy efficiency initiatives at the restaurant level.


Kristiansen took inventory of McDonald's suite of tools and equipment aimed at energy use reduction while conducting a comprehensive survey to identify opportunities to further engage restaurant employees in energy efficiency. The opportunity for impact at the crew level quickly resonated with Kristiansen and she spent her summer developing the concept design and proposal for an educational video on energy efficiency. Kristiansen aggregated the data she collected through dozens of interviews to incorporate into a summary of strategic recommendations that identified ways to optimize McDonald’s resources while increasing energy reduction initiatives in its restaurants.

Potential Impact

Kristiansen’s employee education video will be produced and distributed to crew learning stations throughout its United States restaurants, representing approximately 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants – an estimated 700,000 person audience. The video will highlight McDonald’s environmental stewardship and direct the employees to make use of innovative tools which have the potential to reduce an average restaurant’s energy consumption by up to 10 percent. Kristiansen’s strategic recommendations will be incorporated into the worldwide energy management program and presented at the worldwide convention, with an expected 15,000 owner/operators, suppliers and employees from around the world in attendance.

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