Preserve Our Planet:

Our ambition is to reduce environmental impacts based on scientific knowledge pointing to ways that preserve our planet’s health. We aim to bring this vision to life via four priorities:


We believe we can work with farmers to improve practices that preserve natural ecosystems and water availability to ensure a healthy farming system globally for generations to come.


We aim to design our functional packaging with reusability, recyclability and end-of-life as the top considerations.


Through innovative design of our restaurants and offices, we will optimize our resource footprint for reduced waste, energy use and water use.


Reaching deeper into our supply chains, ending deforestation is our opportunity to reduce GHG emissions through our purchasing power.


We believe we can work with farmers to improve practices that preserve natural ecosystems and water availability to ensure a healthy farming system globally for generations to come.

Our aim is to ensure our Subway Franchisees have continued access to the key agricultural raw materials necessary to supply growing consumer needs while respecting the environment and communities involved in producing those raw materials. We recognize our challenge involves the need to make farming more productive while caring for farm animals, preserving natural resources, contributing to developing communities, and reducing our environmental impact.

As we continue our journey in Sustainable Agriculture, our agriculture decisions and actions are based upon the following principles. Sustainable Agriculture should:

  • Integrate environmental, social, and economic sustainability within agricultural production.
  • Comply with governmental laws, regulations, and industry standards.
  • Integrate approved and credible science and technology, where applicable.
  • Enable local farming communities to protect and improve their well-being and the environment in which they operate.
  • Optimize the use of resources to improve farm productivity and preserve soil fertility, water and air quality, and biodiversity in agricultural operations.
  • Support increased farm productivity, improving crop and livestock yields and nutritional quality to meet existing and future global business growth.
  • Safeguard the care of farm animals that are an integral part our supply chain.

We aim to design our functional packaging with reusability, recyclability and end-of-life as the top considerations.

We continue to look for ways to increase the recycled content, recyclability, degradability and compostability of our packaging where feasible and cost effective. We have redesigned items to be more multi-functional, to be made with more sustainable materials and/or with less material.

The majority of our paper packaging is made with recycled content and 100% can be recycled or composted (where facilities exist).

  • Towel and tissue products are made with 100% recycled material and up to 75% post-consumer content.
  • Napkins are made from 100% recycled fiber with up to 40% post-consumer content and are processed chlorine-free. They are printed with soy or water-based inks.
  • Sandwich wrap contains 40% post-consumer fiber.
  • Specialty sandwich pouches and bags contain 50% post-consumer fiber.
  • Plastic salad bowls were redesigned to remove 711,000 lbs. of plastic from our waste stream annually.
  • Currently the salad bowl and lid are made from 25% recycled PET plastic bottles and can be recycled where facilities exist.
  • Catering trays & lids are currently made with 25% recycled material and can be recycled.

Through innovative design of our restaurants and offices, we will optimize our resource footprint for reduced waste, energy use and water use.

While Subway® restaurants are individually owned and are operated by independent franchisees, through working with our Independent Purchasing Cooperatives or Companies (IPCs), we strive to provide our franchisees with the best solutions to help them improve their operations focusing on energy efficiency, resource conservation, waste reduction and food safety.

Energy Efficiency

By design and the nature of our product offering, our operations are fairly energy efficient but as energy costs continue to rise it is important to improve the energy efficiency of our restaurants.

  • Lighting and electronic signage are important components of our restaurants and are big users of energy in our stores. Over the past few years we have been improving their energy efficiency. Starting in 2007 we shifted all new and remodeled restaurants to high efficiency lighting and made LED exterior signage optional in 2008. Last year we began to move to using interior LED signage and early this year we began the transition to LED lighting for sandwich units.
  • Our standard equipment for new restaurants includes energy efficient digital ovens & HVAC (heating, ventilating and cooling) systems as well as Energy Star-rated ice machines, refrigerated back counters and reach in coolers and freezers.
  • In Europe, one of our oven proofer models is now manufactured with a new low-voltage lighting system resulting in increased lamp life and reduction in energy consumption.
  • The back counter chiller used in the UK and Ireland uses hydrocarbon as a refrigerant which saves up to 13% more energy than existing products.
  • We are in the process of piloting the use of additional energy saving equipment, features and processes such as LED interior lighting.

Water Conservation

  • Many regions around the world are beginning to experience varying degrees of water stress due to increases in population, weather pattern changes or adequate water management infrastructure that can result in inadequate supply of safe drinking water. We recognize how important it is to conserve water and use it wisely.
  • As of 2006, low-flow faucets/taps that increase the water pressure for rinsing are standard for all new Subway restaurants. This small change saves 182.1 million gallons of water annually. Also, many franchisees have installed motion sensors on hand sinks and/or low flow faucets and dual flush toilets in their restaurant rest rooms, further reducing their water usage. And some franchisees have installed rain gardens, storm water pollution prevention systems, native ground cover and efficient landscape irrigation systems to further reduce their water usage.
  • In 2007, we worked with our pickle and pepper suppliers in the US to reduce the amount of brine. As a result we are able to save 739,000 gallons of water, 130,000 lbs. of plastic and 559,000 pounds of corrugate resources on an annual basis. It also reduces road miles as we ship the same amount of product in fewer trucks. This change has been rolled out in Mexico as well as Europe.

Waste Reduction

We are diligently working on ways to reduce our waste stream with a goal of having as close to zero landfill waste as possible.

For many years, recycling and composting bins have been available for franchisees wishing to recycle/compost. In fact, restaurants in San Francisco and Seattle are composting all their food waste. Our restaurants are required to maintain a litter free environment and we encourage our customers to recycle.


Reaching deeper into our supply chains, ending deforestation is our opportunity to reduce GHG emissions through our purchasing power.

In 2010 alone, our initiatives in North America cut carbon emissions by 104,586 metric tons, which is equivalent to reducing annual oil consumption by 238,000 barrels.

Globally, the plants and distribution centers that we use have been strategically located to significantly reduce transportation costs, fuel usage and carbon emissions. We estimate that this saves 21.8 million truck miles and more than 3.6 million gallons of diesel in the US & Canada annually. In the UK alone, we have cut road miles by over 400,000 by adding new depots to the distribution network for food and produce, and bringing them closer to restaurants.

Subway franchisees are entrepreneurs and many are visionaries dedicated to supporting their communities and the environment. In fact, some have built ECO-Restaurants designed to conserve resources during the development process and set the stage for efficient operations in the future.

Features of our ECO-Restaurants include but are not limited to:

  • High efficiency HVAC (Heating, ventilation and cooling) equipment
  • Energy Star rated equipment
  • High efficiency lighting program
  • Low flow faucets and low flow or dual flush toilets
  • Motion sensor lighting controls in restrooms
  • Day light sensors in guest area
  • LED interior and exterior signage
  • Outside air monitoring of CO2
  • Indoor air quality management during construction
  • Forest Steward Council (FSC)-certified wood moldings
  • Low VOC (volatile organic compounds) materials, paints, adhesives
  • Electrical sub metering and thermal comfort monitoring
  • Certified green cleaning program
  • Recycling and construction waste management program
  • LEED/Eco Restaurant educational material
  • Furniture products are not manufactured with or contain ozone depleting substances

More Environmental Facts

  • We source “green” materials – such as cup carriers, napkins, salad bowls, utensils and paper towels – which are high in recycled content and can be recycled, composted or easily degraded once they enter the waste stream again.
  • Our Operational Efficiency program looks for way s to ensure all travel routes are optimized and that all trucks are full. We examined the location of many of our distribution centers and have worked with several suppliers to move facilities to be closer to distribution centers, reducing our transportation foot print even further. Since realigning our distribution network, we have saved 17,000 shipments annually and reduced travel miles by over 15 million annually.
  • Optimized napkin case pack saving 19.907 trees per year.
subway FAQs

SUBWAY® FAQs

Our Customer Service team receives questions everyday from people like you all around the world. We’ve compiled a list of the most popular ones – perhaps these might have some of the answers you are looking for.
 

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