Category News
Published 2022 02

COP26: Leaving an Education Legacy

We recently supported McDonald’s, ‘Class of Your Own’ (COYO) and Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Glasgow, to provide a free virtual work experience programme for young people in Scotland. The initiative, which is part of My Climate Path, a COP26 educational legacy project led by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and funded by the Scottish Government, challenged young students to design a net-zero McDonald’s restaurant for their local community.

130 students from eight local authorities signed up to the initiative, which aimed to encourage sustainable thinking and provide insight into careers in construction and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). During the week, pupils were introduced to the concept of a ‘net zero’ design and were asked to design an inclusive, modern restaurant. Pupils produced a written report and submitted this for moderation. All pupils who successfully completed the course received a “DEC CONNECT Award” endorsed certificate, a valuable material for their CV and future job prospects.

As long-term partners of McDonald’s and ongoing supporter of COYO, we were invited to assist in the preparation of information videos for the programme and attended virtual workshops throughout the week to share our retail design and sustainability knowledge with students. Representatives from across the practice took part, ranging from our Sustainability Manager Peter Bartley to Trainee Architectural Assistant Johan John – a former COYO student himself.

Andrew Rainford said:

“We are committed to protecting the environment through our services and business activities and were honoured to be invited to work with partners, McDonald’s, Class Of Your Own and My Climate Path, to help guide the industry’s next generation in sustainable design. We shared our architectural, interior design and sustainability knowledge and expertise with students and were delighted to see their final net zero restaurant proposals!”

Gareth Hudson, Development Director at McDonald’s UK, said: “We’re so pleased to have been able to work on such a beneficial project with such talented students around Scotland – whilst helping to support their education. At McDonald’s, we believe that our food needs to be served in restaurants that are truly sustainable. We believe Net Zero is the future, and we recently demonstrated this with the launch of our Market Drayton restaurant, but we still don’t have all the answers. We’re always looking for ways to improve, which is why projects like this are so important. We were blown away by the standard of entries and hope to be able to take some of them forward into future McDonald’s design and development.”

As part of the ongoing COP26 educational legacy, My Climate Path, DYW Glasgow will run another week of the free virtual work experience programme in March 2022 following such a successful launch. See further details.

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