Subway® restaurants are best known for our commitment to providing fresh ingredients and
healthier food alternatives to our customers. Behind the scenes we have been working diligently to
improve the sustainability of our products and operations. In fact, we are on a journey to make our
restaurants and operations as environmentally and socially responsible as possible and to help
improve the health of the planet at the same time.
• In 2010 alone, our initiatives in North America cut carbon emissions by 104,586 metric tons,
which is equivalent to reducing annual oil consumption by 238,000 barrels.
• Globally, the plants and distribution centers that we use have been strategically located to
significantly reduce transportation costs, fuel usage and carbon emissions. We estimate that this
saves 21.8 million truck miles and more than 3.6 million gallons of diesel in the US & Canada
annually. In the UK alone, we have cut road miles by over 400,000 by adding new depots to the
distribution network for food and produce, and bringing them closer to stores.
Over the past several years, we have switched to products and business practices that use less
energy & resources, generate less waste and we are working on others. In the process,
weâ€™ve discovered that even small changes add up. Some highlights include:
• All new and remodeled stores now use energy efficient lighting saving electricity as well as low
flow water faucets saving an estimated 182.1 million gallons of water annually.
• Today, the majority of the packaging used in our restaurants in North America is made with
recycled content and 100% can be recycled or composted (where facilities exist). We are in the
process of moving to these packaging specifications globally.
• Currently there are 14 SUBWAYÂ® Eco Restaurants open and operating. These stores are
designed and built to be more energy efficient; conserve water and reduce waste. Three of the Eco
Restaurants are US Green Building Council Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design
(LEED) certified. The remaining Eco Restaurants are certified using an internal process similar to
the LEED process. The first eco store in Europe was built in France in 2011 and has obtained the
French ecological label HQE (High Environmental Quality) and HPE (High Environmental
Protection). These designations mean that the store has a low environmental impact and uses less
Efficient In-store Operations
SUBWAYÂ® restaurants are individually owned and are operated by independent franchisees. Working
with the non-profit our non-profit, franchisee owned, Independent Purchasing Cooperatives or Companies
(IPCs) we strive to provide our franchisees with the best solutions to help them improve their operations
focusing on energy efficiency, resource conservation, waste reduction and food safety.
By design and the nature of our product offering, our operations are fairly energy efficient but as energy
costs continue to rise it is important to improve the energy efficiency of our restaurants.
• Lighting and electronic signage are important components of our restaurants and are big users of
energy in our stores. Over the past few years we have been improving their energy efficiency.
Starting in 2007 we shifted all new and remodelled restaurants to high efficiency lighting and made
LED exterior signage optional in 2008. Last year we began to move to using interior LED signage
and early this year we began the transition to LED lighting for sandwich units.
• Our standard equipment for new restaurants includes energy efficient digital ovens & HVAC
(heating, ventilating and cooling) systems as well as Energy Star-rated ice machines, refrigerated
back counters and reach in coolers and freezers.
• In Europe, one of our oven proofer models is now manufactured with a new low-voltage lighting
system resulting in increased lamp life and reduction in energy consumption.
• The back counter chiller used in the UK and Ireland uses hydrocarbon as a refrigerant which
saves up to 13% more energy than existing products.
• We are in the process of piloting the use of additional energy saving equipment, features and
processes such as LED interior lighting.
Many regions around the world are beginning to experience varying degrees of
water stress due to increases in population, weather pattern changes or adequate water management
infrastructure that can result in inadequate supply of safe drinking water. We recognize how important it is
to conserve water and use it wisely.
As of 2006, low-flow faucets/taps that increase the water pressure for rinsing are standard for all new
Subway restaurants. This small change saves 182.1 million gallons of water annually. Also, many
franchisees have installed motion sensors on hand sinks and/or low flow faucets and dual flush toilets in
their restaurant rest rooms, further reducing their water usage. And some franchisees have installed rain
gardens, storm water pollution prevention systems, native ground cover and efficient landscape irrigation
systems to further reduce their water usage.
In 2007, we worked with our pickle and pepper suppliers in the US to reduce the amount of brine. As a
result we are able to save 739,000 gallons of water, 130,000 lbs of plastic and 559,000 pounds of corrugate
resources on an annual basis. It also reduces road miles as we ship the same amount of product in fewer
trucks. This change has been rolled out in Mexico as well as Europe.
We are diligently working on ways to reduce our waste stream with a goal of having as close to zero
landfill waste as possible.
For many years, recycling and composting bins have been available for franchisees
wishing to recycle/compost. In fact, restaurants in San Francisco and Seattle are composting all their food
waste. Our restaurants are required to maintain a litter free environment and we encourage our customers to
We have worked with our suppliers to optimize how our products are packaged to reduce waste streams for
breads, meats, cheeses, sauces, produce, paper products and cleaning products used in our restaurants. For
• Our sauces and most of our tuna have are now in film pouches which require less energy to
package and transport and removes 6 million pounds of corrugate from our waste stream annually.
• By removing the paper interleaf between our sliced cheeses, an additional 450,000 pounds of
paper has been removed from our waste stream annually.
• Today, franchisees have the option to portion some ingredients using a scoop. This process
eliminates the need to pre-prep portions in food trays and removes additional packaging from our
waste stream annually.
Examples of other sustainable practices used in North America restaurants include:
• Working with our suppliers weâ€™ve improved the sustainability of our cleaning supplies. With
the exception of the sanitizer, all approved cleaning chemicals and hand soap used in our
restaurants are either Green Seal or certified by California Air Resource Board (CARB) as well as
EPS Safe Detergents Stewardship. They are manufactured without phosphates or ammonia and
donâ€™t contain volatile organic chemicals (VOCâ€™s) and are biodegradable. By shifting to
concentrated cleaning strips, we eliminated the need to ship water and remove 177,000 pounds of
plastic and 154,150 pounds of corrugate form our waste stream each year.
• Our mops are now â€œgreenerâ€. The mop heads are made using recycled plastic bottles (60%
and recycled cotton socks & T- shirts (40%). The mop head is made with 100% post consumer
polypropylene (recycle plastic bottle caps). The mops are more absorbent and a portion of the
proceeds is donated to HeRO, a non-profit organization that builds nutrition centers in elementary
schools in Honduras; helping eradicate hunger and encourage childhood education.
• Furniture is not manufactured with or does not contain ozone depleting substances.
• Moldings made from wood form certified renewable forests are available.
Our goal is to only use packaging that can be recycled or composted where facilities exist.
Over the past four years, we have been working very hard to improve the sustainability of our packaging
and to eliminate unnecessary packaging wherever possible. We continue to look for ways to increase the
recycled content, recyclability, degradability and compostability of our packaging where feasible and cost
effective. We have redesigned items to be more multi-functional, to be made with more sustainable
materials and/or with less material.
The majority of our paper packaging is made with recycled content and 100% can be recycled or composted
(where facilities exist).
• Towel and tissue products are made with 100% recycled material and up to 75% post consumer
• Napkins are made from 100% recycled fiber with up to 40% post consumer content and are
processed chlorine-free. They are printed with soy or water-based inks.
• Sandwich wrap contains 40% post consumer fiber
• Specialty sandwich pouches and bags contain 50% post consumer fiber
• Plastic salad bowls were redesigned to remove 711,000 lbs of plastic from our waste stream
annually. Currently the salad bowl and lid are made from 25% recycled PET plastic bottles and can
be recycled where facilities exist.
• Catering trays & lids are currently made with 25% recycled material and can be recycled.
We believe that the most sustainable practice is to reduce â€œsingle-useâ€ packaging where feasible. Our
franchisees have the option to serve their dine-in guests with a reusable basket lined with deli paper or lined
tray. This approach minimizes the associated waste stream and improves the meal
To further reduce bag usage, we are currently testing a new way to secure individual wrapped sandwiches
which can eliminate the need for a bag when only a sandwich is purchased to go. However, we recognize
that some orders will still require a bag so we have recently redesigned reusable bags (made with 30%
recycled content) for franchisees who wish to offer them to their customers.
Although we continue to look for more sustainable materials for our bags, we believe that plastic bags work
the best for the products we sell and currently are more sustainable than paper bags. When the full life cycle
is considered, it takes less energy to produce, transport, store and recycle plastic bags. However, our
franchisees comply with all local legislation and we have recyclable paper bags made with 100% recycled
paper or reusable bags are available for those areas that restrict or ban plastic bag usage.
In other sustainable packaging solutions put in place in North America, we have:
• Eliminated polystyrene from most of our packaging and no longer use polystyrene cutlery,
drinking cup, soup bowls or clam shell packages. These items have been shifted to more easily
recyclable resins or paper based material.
• Redesigned the meal-to-go box reducing the amount of source material used and adding 10%
• Switched to a pizza box with 40% recycled content.
• Reduced the size of our larger plastic cups which is estimated to remove 715,000 lb of resin from
our waste stream annually.
• Transitioned to a pulp molded four-cup carrier made with 100% recycled content, thus saving
approximately 9,000 trees annually. These cup carriers are recyclable and composable where
We are moving to more sustainable marketing material where feasible and cost effective.
• Our take-out menu brochure is printed on Sustainable Forest Initiatives (SFI) certified recycled
paper with 10% post consumer content.
• Our SubwayÂ® gift cards are made with 30% recycled plastic.
• In April 2011 approximately 75% of restaurants in US and Canada shifted from non-recyclable
plastic menu panels to paper menu panels that can be recycled.
Subway franchisees are entrepreneurs and many are visionaries dedicated to supporting their
communities and the environment. In fact, some have built ECO-Restaurants designed to conserve
resources during the development process and set the stage for efficient operations in the future.
The exterior of the Kokomo, Indiana
location was built with 100% reused stone. Other features include: LED exterior lighting, a reflective white
roof and preferred parking spaces for efficient vehicles/carpools.
Currently, there are 14 ECO-Restaurants designed to conserve resources and operate efficiently. Six Eco
Restaurants were built & certified through an internal
SubwayÂ® process that follows the U.S. Green Building Councilâ€™s Leadership in Energy &
Environmental Design (LEED) guidelines. Today there are four LEED certified restaurants and three are
pending LEED certification. Many other ECO- Restaurants are in various stages of development.
Other SubwayÂ® ECO-Restaurants are located in:
• La Place, Louisiana
• St Helens, Oregon
• Keiser Station, Oregon
• Kissimmee, Florida LEED Silver
• Chapel Hill; LEED Certified
• Love Park, Illinois
• Loveland, Oregon
• Cary Park, North Carolina LEED Certified
• Durham, North Carolina LEED Certified
• Chicago, Illinois
• Kokomo, Indiana pending LEED Silver
• North Haven, Connecticut 2 locations pending LEED ceritification
• Eco store in France
Features of our ECO-Restaurants include but are not limited to:
• High efficiency HVAC (Heating, ventilation and cooling) equipment
• Energy Star rated equipment
• High efficiency lighting program
• Low flow faucets and low flow or dual flush toilets
• Motion sensor lighting controls in restrooms
• Day light sensors in guest area
• LED interior and exterior signage
• Non-smoking environment
• Outside air monitoring of CO2
• Indoor air quality management during construction
• Reuse of at least 30% of store furniture
• Forest Steward Council (FSC)-certified wood moldings
• Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) materials, paints, adhesives
• Electrical sub metering and thermal comfort monitoring
• Certified green cleaning program
• Recycling and construction waste management program
• LEED/Eco Restaurant educational material
• Furniture products are not manufactured with or contain ozone depleting substances.
More Environmental Facts
We source â€œgreenâ€ materials â€“ such as cup carriers, napkins, salad bowls, utensils and
paper towels â€“ which are high in recycled content and can be recycled, composted or easily degraded
once they enter the waste stream again.
Our Operational Efficiency program looks for way s to ensure all travel routes are optimized and
that all trucks are full. We examined the location of many of our distribution centers and have worked
with several suppliers to move facilities to be closer to distribution centers, reducing our transportation
foot print even further. Since realigning our distribution network, we have saved 17,000 shipments
annually and reduced travel miles by over 15 million annually.
Optimized napkin case pack saving 19.907 trees per year.