4 Ways Ronald McDonald House Charities Is Helping Foster a More Sustainable Future

April 25, 2022

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) has long been known for its dedication to supporting families with sick children in their time of need. And with more than 685 programs in 62 countries and regions, the nonprofit’s impact is astounding – which is just one reason why McDonald’s has been a proud supporter of RMHC since it was founded in 1974. In addition to providing comfortable, family-centered spaces for families to be together, RMHC is also committed to making those spaces more sustainable for generations to come.

In fact, RMHC incorporates sustainable design principles and features in 100% of all new construction, including 10 new programs that were added in 2021.

The charity’s ambitious commitment to the environment stretches across four key pillars, which are selected for improved comfort of guest families, minimized impact on the environment and ease-of-maintenance to ensure that RMHC programs remain available to serve families.

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1. More Sustainable Design and Operations: With a wide variety of facilities covering a range of climates and cultures around the globe, RMHC program designs employ many sustainable design features, including maximizing solar exposure for solar panels, optimizing natural daylight and ventilation, and selecting eco-friendly, low-emitting materials and high-efficiency appliances and equipment. 
See it in action: The Ronald McDonald House in Perth was the first project in Western Australia to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as a LEED Silver building, thanks in part to its water-efficient landscaping, indoor air-quality management plan and more.

outside landscaping

2. Water: RMHC programs use water resources wisely by minimizing demand through best practices, such as selecting water-efficient appliances and fixtures, collecting rainwater and landscaping with native, drought-tolerant plants. 
See it in action: The Ronald McDonald House in Long Beach, California, is home to a native landscape that requires little water to maintain and provides a serene gathering place for families.

interior corridor

3. Energy: To help minimize energy demand, energy-efficient appliances, equipment and lighting are used in program designs whenever possible. RMHC programs are also increasing their use of renewable energy to minimize their environmental footprint. 
See it in action: The Ronald McDonald House in Madrid uses solar photovoltaic panels and solar thermal hot water to make the most of natural and renewable resources and to reduce energy demand.

indoor kitchen
4. Waste: There are several ways that RMHC Chapters manage waste that range from responsive meal planning to repurposing existing buildings to eliminate construction waste and leverage the energy and resources already embedded in those structures. 
See it in action:
The Ronald McDonald House in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, helps combat food waste through careful meal planning that reuses leftover ingredients in subsequent meals.

“I’m so proud of the work being done to ensure our RMHC programs are designed thoughtfully,” says Kelly Dolan, President and CEO of RMHC, Inc. “As a global organization, it’s incredibly important to ensure our initiatives are sustainable, so we can continue to keep families with sick children comfortable when they need it most.”

The ongoing investments RMHC is making in sustainable facilities and the efficient and effective use of natural resources help keep all local programs in peak condition and available to serve the families they care for.

In committing to a more sustainable future, RMHC can deepen the impact of its programs, help protect and preserve the environment and support healthy communities around the globe – all of which help the storied nonprofit organization deliver on its mission.

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