Bethesda McDonald’s Recognized For Pushing Ecological Boundaries

Kari Swenson and Kenneth Foster, who own the McDonald’s on River Road in Bethesda, won the Montgomery County Green Business Innovator of the Year Award on Wednesday. The award recognizes leaders of change in Maryland, who use ecologically integrated business practices in the services they offer the public.

Swenson and Foster own the first McDonald’s in the United States to earn the Green Restaurant Association’s Level One Certification. In their restaurant they have installed energy efficient sprayers, faucets and fryers; they use LED lights, which reduce electricity usage by 33 percent; and they provide all their employees metro cards, encouraging them to use public transit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“We never set out for recognition when we decided to go green,” said Foster. “We recognized it was our responsibility as members of the community to create a business in the area that was leaving a positive footprint on the world.”

Within the next year, Swenson and Foster hope to achieve a Level Two certification from the Green Restaurant Association.

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Deirdre Byrne

About Deirdre Byrne

Deirdre Byrne is a social media coordinator for Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at or on twitter at @DeirdreByrneMCM.


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