Either I’ve woken up in a parallel universe where corporate social responsibility and an environmental ethos have been wholeheartedly and authentically embraced by monolithic corporate entities of every ilk OR this whole green thing has gotten out of control. Considering how often I seem to wake up in parallel universes, I’m not discounting the first possibility, but seriously, a LEED certified McDonalds? Really? According to the initial coverage when this was announced in 2007 “the restaurant also boasts bike racks, preferred parking for hybrid vehicles, porous pavement and a white roof.” I don’t know too many Prius driving cyclists who frequent their local McDonalds franchises, but again, I’m new to this universe, so I’m a little unfamiliar with its customs. Perhaps this is the same customer who sips lates at the McCafes they’ve been opening?
McDonalds isn’t the only frequently vilified corporate entity to venture a foray into green architecture: Walmart is opening green stores (McKinney) and doing green retrofits (Chicago). Is this a useful political expedient in order to win council approvals? They tried this in Vancouver (to no avail). Are there multiple, conflicting corporate cultures within these entities with different priorities and ideas? How else to explain the fact that while building green walmarts, walmart has fought city councils on green zoning regulations?
Perhaps in this reality, this april fools article ‘Walmart, McCain forge new alliance to fight sprawl’ could actually be true?