Caring for the Environment
Supporting our Neighborhoods
Valuing our Employees
Caring for the Environment
From the food we sell to the buildings in which our iconic brands are housed, our business affects the environment. In addition to complying with applicable laws and regulations, our teams work to promote compliance among our suppliers.
Our Concern for Animals
We believe in and support efforts within and outside of our industry to improve the welfare of farm animals. We also rely on experts in the field, such as Dr. Jeffrey Armstrong of the Michigan State University College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, to provide scientific guidance on animal welfare issues.
As big as we are, we account for only a small fraction of the animal-based products purchased each year in the U.S. Regardless, we will continue to explore opportunities to improve the treatment of farm animals within the context of our business and the industry.
DineEquity, and our franchisees who own and operate Applebee's and IHOP restaurants, are committed to ensuring our guests enjoy delicious meals featuring ingredients that are produced and sourced as responsibly and sustainably as possible. As part of that commitment, we hold our suppliers to high standards of quality and integrity.
Toward that end, in January 2013, DineEquity announced a commitment to eliminate gestation crates from our supply chain by 2020. Since making that pledge, we have continued to survey our suppliers and communicate our desire that they be gestation-crate free by the end of this decade.
Our suppliers have informed us that they understand our commitment and are making efforts to comply. As a next step, in 2014, we are asking our suppliers for annual progress reports on their efforts to comply with our plan so we may evaluate where each supplier is with regard to reaching our goal. We appreciate our supply partners' collaboration on this important issue to our company, stockholders, and our guests.
We're regularly looking for new ways to reduce our impact on the environment through improvements in how we supply, design, build and maintain our restaurants. Both our IHOP® and Applebee's® Restaurant Support Centers are housed in LEED Certified buildings.
Our two Restaurant Support Centers are also engaged in a variety of recycling efforts. In fact, at our Applebee's Support Center, we have recycled nearly 49 tons of paper material in [time frame]. This equates to:
Examples like this are encouraging and reinforce our belief that we are making progress. We gain valuable learning through various pilot programs and tests and will be expanding our learning in the coming years to many of our IHOP restaurants through a series of Green initiatives. Not all restaurants will be able to take advantage of every initiative, but we're excited about this important and broad-reaching step.
2010 Green Initiatives* - IHOP
*Not all IHOP restaurants will implement all items
We source a large amount of paper and plastic goods for our restaurants. In choosing vendors, we not only consider quality and price, but we are also beginning to look at other factors including the amount of recycled content, the types of bleaches, inks or dyes used, and whether sustainable forestry and production practices were utilized. By working with vendors who share our interest in and commitment to good practices, we hope to -over time- improve the environmentally-friendly attributes of the goods we purchase.
We have removed 95% of all polystyrene packaging products used in our "to go" orders. We have replaced this with 100% recyclable packaging, allowing safe and clean transport and reducing our impact on local landfills. We are currently working on final products that will make us 100% polystyrene free.
We continue working to reduce the energy consumption in our restaurants and our Restaurant Support Centers. For example, nearly all offices in our in non-restaurant facilities have motion-activated light switches that automatically lower or turn off the lights if no movement is detected after a period of time.
Many of our restaurants have late-night or 24-hour operations, so we are mindful about eliminating lighting for security reasons. However, we have been aggressive about replacing traditional lighting with compact florescent lighting wherever possible. Each light saves about $30 over its lifetime and pays for itself in about 6 months. It uses 75% less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb.
Waste and Recycling
A number of our environmental programs focus on reducing waste generated by our operations. We continue to look for ways to eliminate, reuse or recycle potential waste. One example is the regular recycling of used cooking oil at most of our restaurants.