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How sustainable is McDonald's ?

McDonald's & sustainability


McDonald's
First milestones, should be better Click here for score rapport: 4 out of 23

Sustainability summary

McDonalds has achieved the D-label. McDonalds has started to take sustainability into account. Still, a lot more can be done.

Brand owner: McDonalds Corporation
Head office: Oak Brook, Illinois, USA
Sector: Restaurant chains
Categories : 
Free Tags: Fast Food, Mac, MacDonalds, Big Mac, mcdonalds

What's your sustainability news about McDonald's?

McDonald's sustainability score report

Last edited: 27 April 2017 by Marja
Last reviewed: 27 April 2017 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

2 out of 7
1. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? McDonald's has a policy that describes the aim to reduce the company's climate change impact, mainly through improving energy efficiency and by working with suppliers to source raw materials sustainably. Source
2. Has the brand (company) already reduced or compensated the carbon footprint of its own operations by at least 10% in the last 5 years? McDonald's increased its climate footprint of own operations from 1,993 million tons CO2e in 2014 to 2,262 million tons of CO2e in 2015, which represents an increase of around 13,5% (see link, 'Climate Change 2015 & 2016 Response'). Source
3. Is at least 10% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? McDonald's reports on the use of renewable energy, but is not clear about the total percentage share nor about the sources of supply. Source
4. Is at least 25% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 3. Source
5. Is the efficiency of greenhouse gas emissions below 200 kg CO2-eq per square meter restaurant floor per year? McDonald's does not clearly report a greenhouse gas emissions efficiency level per sqm restaurant floor. Source
6. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce the carbon footprint of its 'own operations' by at least 20% within the next 5 years? In 2014, McDonald's set a target to increase energy efficiency in company-owned restaurants by 20% by 2020. However, McDonald's does not communicate target reductions to reduce its total climate footprint. Source
7. Does the brand (company) also have a policy to reduce/compensate carbon emissions generated from the supply/production chain? McDonald's clearly reports on greenhouse gas emissions which were caused in its production chain that is beyond own operations. Effective by 2015, the reported emission amounted to around 38 million tons of CO2e (see link, 'Climate Change 2016 Response'). Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

1 out of 13
1. Does the brand have a environmental policy for the use of the tropical commodities such as soy, palm oil and beef, in order not to contribute to the destruction of tropical rainforests? McDonald's has an environmental policy describing its commitment to eliminate deforestation throughout its supply chain by 2030. The policy includes goals to source e.g. beef, coffee and palm oil from verified sustainable sources. Source
2. Has the brand already implemented a strict policy for all the used tropical commodities such as soy, palm oil and beef, in order not to contribute to the destruction of rainforests? McDonald's does not yet report a full effectuation of using certified sustainable sources for commodities such as beef, palm oil and soy. Source
3. Does the brand (company) use environmentally certified oil in its products and in the case of palm oil use, does the brand only source sustainable palm oil for all its palm oil containing products? Concerning oil McDonald's focus is on palm oil. By 2020 McDonald's aims to source 100% RSPO certified palm oil only. This however would include 'Book and Claim certificates too, thus would not be considered eligible for a positive assessment. Concerning other oils no up to date reporting is published. Source
4. Does the brand have environmental and animal welfare policies for animal products such as meat, egg, milk and fish? McDonald's implements policies for several animal products, such as meat and fish. Especially concerning beef comprehensive measures are implemented – based on the GRSB principles. But, measures (like its pilot in Canada) that go clearly beyond conventional practices are not clear enough specified. Source
5. Does the brand have environmental and animal welfare standards for a significant share of the animal products such as meat, egg, milk and fish? See remark for environmental policy question 4. However, for animal products like dairy, fish or poultry no clear policies are reported publicly yet. Source
6. Does the brand adhere to progressive sustainability and animal welfare standards for all sold animal products such as meat, eggs, milk and fish? McDonald's communicates that globally 100% of the whitefish for its 'Filet-O-Fish' is sourced from sustainably managed fisheries, and that MSC certification is achieved in North America, Europe and Brazil. But, standards other than MSC, and clarification for other fish containing products is not specified clear enough. Source
7. Does the brand have an environmental policy for the production of vegetables and fruit? McDonald's does not communicate a clear global policy and results for the production of fruit and vegetables. Source
8. Does the brand have an environmental policy for the staple foods such as rice, grain, corn or potatoes? McDonald's does not communicate a clear global policy and results for the use of staple products. Source
9. Does the brand have a sustainability policy for the drinking water and soda? McDonald's does not communicate a clear global policy and results for sodas or tap water. Source
10. Does the brand (company) have a proper vegetarian assortment or a policy to increase this? McDonald's does not communicate a clear global policy and results to increase the use of vegetarian ingredients. Source
11. Does the brand (company) have a proper vegan assortment or a policy to increase this? McDonald's does not communicate a clear global policy and results to increase the use of vegan ingredients. Source
12. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report the results? McDonald's communicates a waste reduction policy, but does not report the overall, annual performance. Source
13. Does the brand (company) have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of its shipping packaging and carrier bags, by reducing, re-using, recycling and responsible sourcing of packaging materials, and does the brand annually report on these results? McDonalds communicates a consumer packaging reduction policy. However, clear aggregate results regarding its packaging materials footprint are not made public. Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

1 out of 3
1. Does the brand sell tropical commodities such as coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas and pineapple certified according to Fair Trade, Utz, Rainforest Alliance or similar systems? McDonald's reports that in 2015, 37% of the company's global coffee supply was certified by UTZ, Rainforest Alliance or Fair Trade. McDonald's does not report clearly whether it uses socially certified tea, chocolate, or other tropical ingredients (see link, page 2). Source
2. Is a significant share of the sold tropical commodities such as coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas and pineapple certified according to Fair Trade, Utz, Rainforest Alliance or similar systems? See remark for labor conditions policy question 1. Source
3. Are all the sold tropical commodities such as coffee, tea, chocolate, bananas and pineapple certified according to Fair Trade, Utz, Rainforest Alliance or similar systems? See remark for labor conditions policy question 1. Source