McDonald's going green, balance sheet could get greener

Where would you want to open a prototype "green" restaurant? McDonald's (MCD) has decided to do so on the south side of Chicago. The new restaurant starts with the typical standalone McDonald's unit we are used to seeing and uses "smarter design elements" to save the store 25 percent per year in utility bills.

What are the changes? The new store will use heat recovery devices to recycle cooking heat. Storm water runoff from the parking lot will be collected and used for irrigation. Plants will be stationed on the roof to provide insulation and further water control. Skylights will augment and eliminate the need for some electric lighting, and tables will be made from recycled plastic. In addition, cardboard food containers will be produced from recycled material.