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💬 "McDonald’s’ Climate Change Efforts"

Climate Rising

Photo by Thabang | Unsplash

Table of Contents

Hosts: Mike Toffel & Yesh Pavlik Slenk
Guest: Jenny McColloch | Chief Sustainability Officer | McDonald’s
Category: 💬 Opinion | McDonald's

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[10:54] JMC: "[In 2018 we] ended up becoming [...] the first global restaurant company to set science based targets for emissions reduction that covered [the] whole restaurant and supply base. We operate in nearly 40,000 communities worldwide. [...] We knew we needed to bring along both the restaurant base as well as the food and packaging supply chain, which is by far the biggest contributor from an emissions standpoint."

[11:44] JMC: "We ended up [...] working with advisors to set targets that covered the restaurants and offices in one set of absolute emissions reduction targets, and then bring along the supply chain with an intensity based target to reduce emissions per ton of food and packaging, because we found that together that enabled us to decouple our business growth that we were projecting from our emissions growth."

[15:31] JMC: "Many of our biggest emissions drivers across our footprints, whether it's kitchen energy loads, or food packaging, supply chain commodities, like beef, or different proteins that we're serving, the franchisees aren't needing to make those decisions themselves. That said, when it comes to actually sourcing energy locally, or how we maintain and operate the equipment in the restaurants, that's where we work directly with franchisees on things like renewable energy purchasing, or efficiency programs that actually help them save a lot of money."

[19:29] JMC: "If you look at McDonald's footprint, about 10 countries represent about 85% of our beef sourcing around the world. So we've prioritized looking at production practices in those areas. [...] The majority of our supply chain carbon footprint is related to beef and dairy. [...] We see tremendous potential in nature based solutions, [for example] different grazing practices. We've done research studies that show the soils have a greater ability to have biodiverse flora and fauna in the soils that can help absorb carbon. Exactly how we can measure it at a ranching scale or industry scale is still being worked out."

[30:28] JMC: "We include packaging in our carbon footprinting and our climate targets. And most of our packaging is fiber based and comes from forests that are certified stainable, or from recycled fiber. As those percentages have increased over the years, the emissions profile has gone down. And also, as plastic innovation has continued to advance, we just have a small portfolio of our packaging that is plastic, mainly due to food safety or customer experience preferences. And the innovation on more recycled plastics or more bio-based plastics has been really encouraging. But [...] all of that has to be coupled with recoverability and infrastructure systems to prevent that from getting into nature."

Rating: 🍏🍏🍏

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🗓️ 09/21/2022
✅ Time saved: 36 min

Additional Links:
Report: McDonald's Climate Risk & Resiliency Report (2021)