Yum! Brands announced it has opened a new environment-friendly KFC-Taco Bell restaurant in Northampton, Mass. The parent of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC said the new “green” restaurant is the company’s first effort to pursue certification under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.

The restaurant, designed to use 30% less energy and water than a typical KFC-Taco Bell unit, also cuts CO2 emissions, reduces waste going to landfills/incinerators and educates visitors and employees on sustainable design, said Yum! Brands.

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The environmentally-friendly building uses solar energy to preheat fresh air entering the building, a sophisticated lighting control system that maximizes the use of natural light, and has been fully outfitted with energy-efficient kitchen and building equipment .

To further minimize the restaurant’s carbon footprint, all waste is composted or recycled, including enhanced cooking oil reclamation. The building also reduces the environmental impact of new construction and provides a test lab to confirm the feasibility and green performance of new technologies.