McDonald's(R) restaurants in Canada to turn off the lights in support of Earth Hour



    Nationwide initiative could result in energy savings equivalent to one
    year's worth of electricity usage for average Canadian household

    TORONTO, March 25 /CNW/ - As part of its ongoing efforts to implement
energy-saving practices, McDonald's Canada and participating restaurants
nationwide will be actively supporting Earth Hour, and in the process could
save more than 10,000 kWh in electricity usage, which is the same amount of
energy the average Canadian household uses in a year.
    A global initiative led by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to inspire people to
take action on climate change, Earth Hour will take place on Saturday,
March 29, 2008. While all participating McDonald's restaurants will remain
open and fully operational, at 8:00 p.m., for one full hour, customers and
passers-by will notice darkened road signs and roof beams at each location as
they show their support by cutting down on their electricity usage.
    "We're very excited to join this environmental awareness event not only
because of the in-restaurant component, but also for the ripple-effect of
engaging our 77,000 employees across the country into doing their part as
well," says Laurie Laykish, Senior Vice President, McDonald's Restaurants of
Canada. "At McDonald's, we know we can make a positive contribution in many
areas related to energy conservation and have worked diligently over the years
to assess the efficient use of many industry-leading innovations to help
create a bright future and better serve our customers."
    Through energy-saving practices in the areas of ventilation, lighting and
heating, McDonald's restaurants in Canada have saved an estimated 3.1 million
kWh since 2005, which equates to 2,375 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions
- equal to taking approximately 435 cars off the road. In addition, 37
McDonald's restaurants in Alberta are now purchasing wind-generated
electricity, drastically cutting carbon dioxide emissions, while two
restaurants in Quebec have pioneered the use of a geothermal renewable energy
system - a means of extracting heat from the earth - in the operation of
quick-service restaurants.
    McDonald's Canada also engages its suppliers and encourages them to be
more environmentally-conscious. This lead to the creation in 2007 of an annual
Sustainability Award, which recognizes a supplier who has demonstrated a
commitment to advancing environmental sustainability in the areas of energy
conservation, solid waste mitigation and recycling, among others.
    Introduced in Australia in 2007, Earth Hour was a huge success in showing
that it is possible to take action on climate change. This year, the awareness
and participation has spread worldwide. To learn more about Earth Hour, visit
www.earthhour.org.

    About McDonald's(R) Canada
    --------------------------
    McDonald's(R) is the leading foodservice company in the world. McDonald's
Restaurants of Canada Limited and its Canadian franchisees own and operate
more than 1,400 restaurants and employ more than 77,000 Canadians coast to
coast. Approximately 70 per cent of McDonald's Canadian restaurants are
locally owned and operated by independent entrepreneurs. For more information
about McDonald's Canada, visit the company's web site at www.mcdonalds.ca





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For further information: McDonald's Media Relations, 1-877-786-3342

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McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Limited

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