McDonald’s, Oak Brook, Illinois, has announced it will partner with franchisees and suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to McDonald’s restaurants and offices by 36 percent by 2030 from a 2015 base year in a new strategy to address global climate change. Additionally, McDonald’s commits to a 31 percent reduction in emissions intensity (per metric ton of food and packaging) across its supply chain by 2030 from 2015 levels. This combined target has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
Through these actions, McDonald’s says it expects to prevent 150 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere by 2030. This is the equivalent of taking 32 million passenger cars off the road for an entire year or planting 3.8 billion trees and growing them for 10 years. The target will enable McDonald’s to grow as a business without growing its emissions.
“To create a better future for our planet, we must all get involved. McDonald’s is doing its part by setting this ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address the challenge of global climate change,” Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s president and CEO, says. “To meet this goal, we will source our food responsibly, promote renewable energy and use it efficiently, and reduce waste and increase recycling.”
To reach its target, McDonald’s will work across its supply chain, offices and restaurants to be more innovative and efficient through improvements such as LED lighting, energy efficient kitchen equipment, sustainable packaging, restaurant recycling and by elevating and supporting sustainable agriculture practices. In collaboration with thousands of franchisees, suppliers and producers, McDonald’s will prioritize action on the largest segments of its carbon footprint: beef production, restaurant energy usage and sourcing, packaging and waste. These segments combined, account for approximately 64 percent of McDonald’s global emissions.
Building on the momentum of existing programs on forests, agriculture and energy efficiency, McDonald’s and its partners will continue to identify practical solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and bring them to scale. In its commitment to transparency, McDonald’s will expand its measurement systems and annually communicate about progress, challenges and milestones.
“Environmental progress doesn’t just happen, it takes bold leadership from all of us,” Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense Fund, says. “As one of the best-known brands on the planet, McDonald’s is well positioned to lead, and its ambitious new climate target will inspire innovation, collaboration and, most importantly, critical greenhouse gas reductions across the company’s global operations and supply chain.”