McDonald’s says “we’re loving it” to greener kitchen equipment

McDonald’s branches

McDonald’s has pledged to equip its stores with more energy efficient kitchen products after outlining an ambitious global strategy to dramatically slash greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

The fast food chain has vowed to work closely with franchisees and suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to its 37,000-strong restaurant estate and offices by 36% within the next 12 years.

Additionally, it is targeting a 31% reduction in emissions intensity (per metric ton of food and packaging) across its supply chain by 2030 from 2015 levels.

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McDonald’s will scrutinise its current kitchen infrastructure as it looks to make changes to its business and said it will work across its supply chain to be “more innovative and efficient” through improvements in areas such as energy efficient kitchen equipment.

It will also look at LED lighting, sustainable packaging and restaurant recycling, and will support sustainable agriculture practices. It expects to collaborate with “thousands” of franchisees and suppliers to prioritise action on the largest segments of its carbon footprint, which includes beef production, restaurant energy usage and sourcing, packaging and waste.

These segments collectively account for approximately 64% of McDonald’s global emissions.

McDonald’s expects the actions it takes 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, according to the chain.

Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s president and CEO, said the target will enable the multinational foodservice giant 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. To meet this goal, we will source our food responsibly, promote renewable energy and use it efficiently, and reduce waste and increase recycling,” he said.

Mr Easterbrook said McDonald’s will build on the momentum of its existing programmes on forests, agriculture and energy efficiency to identify practical solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and bring them to scale. It will also expand its measurement systems, and annually communicate about progress, challenges and milestones, in what it describes as a “commitment to transparency”.

McDonald’s targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative, a collaboration between WRI, WWF, CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) and the United Nations Global Compact, which helps companies determine how much they must cut emissions to do their part to address climate change.

The chain says that it is the first restaurant company in the world to set approved science-based target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Andrew Seymour

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