McDonald’s set to slash emissions

McDonald’s has become the first restaurant company to set approved science-based targets to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The Science Based Targets initiative is a collaboration between WRI, WWF, CDP and the UN Global Compact.

McDonald’s announced last week that it will partner with franchises and suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its restaurants and offices by 36% by 2030 from a 2015 base year. It also plans a 31% reduction in emissions intensity across its supply chain by 2030 from 2015 levels.

The global food chain expects that these actions will prevent 150 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from being released into the atmosphere by 2030. This is the equivalent of taking 32 million cars off the road for an entire year. The targets will allow 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,” said Steve Easterbrook, president and CEO of McDonald’s

“To meet this goal, we will source our food responsibly, promote renewable energy and use it efficiently, and reduce waste and increase recycling.”

To meet its targets, McDonald’s will work across its supply chain, offices and restaurants to be more efficient through improvements such as LED lighting, energy efficient kitchen equipment, sustainable packaging, and restaurant recycling. It will also place more emphasis on supporting sustainable agricultural practices and taking action on the largest segments of its carbon footprint: beef production, restaurant energy use and sourcing, packaging and waste, which together account for around 64% of its global emissions.

“McDonald’s footprint touches all parts of the world. Their announcement matters because it commits one of the world’s biggest companies to deliver, with the full breadth of their food chain system, significant emissions reductions based on science,” said Carter Roberts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the U.S.

“While private-sector actions can’t entirely solve the climate crisis facing our planet, significant announcements like these, and coalitions like these working on climate together, create momentum and movement toward the scale of solutions that we ultimately need.”

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