McDonald’s has announced its global commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.
The move will include science-based emissions reduction targets and will see it join the SBTi Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign and the United Nations Race to Zero campaign.
McDonald’s UK & Ireland said it will be leading the company’s global effort with the launch today of its ‘Plan for Change’ – a comprehensive business and sustainability strategy to help it achieve its aim of net zero emissions across its entire UK and Ireland business by 2040.
The plan sets out ambitious goals and actions across its four key areas – Planet, People, Restaurants and Food – to ensure the business leads positive change from farms to front counter.
Several initiatives are already underway, including the development of McDonald’s first restaurant built to a UK industry net zero emissions standard in Shropshire.
When the restaurant opens next month, it will be a first for the UK industry and will act as a blueprint for future new-builds.
McDonald’s UK&I has also set a target to ensure customer packaging is made from renewable, recycled or certified sources and designed to be recyclable or compostable, by 2024.
The Plan for Change will also see McDonald’s UK&I go even further to offer its customers more choice.
A new Nutrition Innovation Council will develop more balanced options without compromising on taste.
The business has also set an ambition to offer customers market leading vegan plant-based food and drink, beginning with the recent launch of its 100% vegan McPlant burger.
McDonald’s is aiming to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 across its entire UK business and value chain, while it will create a blueprint for new freehold restaurants to be built to a UK industry net zero emissions standard from 2022. Its target is to achieve net zero emissions for all its restaurants and offices by 2030.
It said it would take additional steps to source quality, sustainable ingredients and support its suppliers, including investing in sector-leading research through a new Sustainable Beef Network.
By 2023, it intends to develop a new scorecard, in collaboration with independent experts, to expand and embed ethical and sustainability criteria in its sourcing decisions.
Paul Pomroy, chief executive of McDonald’s UK & Ireland, said: “McDonald’s has a long history of taking action where it really matters to the communities we serve. But we are at a moment now where we need to accelerate our ambition and work even harder to look after each other and the planet.
“This new Plan for Change is not just our sustainability strategy, it’s our business priority. That means it isn’t a plan for one change, but for many – changes that together, with 1,400 restaurants, over 130,000 people, 23,000 British and Irish farmers and four million customers visiting every day, really will add up.”
The Plan for Change builds on the moves McDonald’s UK&I has made over the last two decades to help reduce its impact on the planet
These include buying only renewable electricity for use in its restaurants, turning cooking oil into fuel for its delivery trucks, and rolling out electric vehicle charging points.
More details on the Plan for Change strategy can be found HERE.