Industry News | March 10, 2011

McDonald’s Announces Advancements in Sustainability

McDonald's Corporation announced its Sustainable Land Management Commitment (SLMC), a significant advancement in the company's effort to ensure the food served in its restaurants around the world is sourced from certified sustainable sources. The McDonald's SLMC requires that, over time, its suppliers will only use agricultural raw materials for the company's food and packaging that originate from sustainably managed land. This commitment is guided by a long-term vision and supported by an external, third-party annual evaluation process.

"McDonald's serves customers around the world, and we accept the responsibility that comes with our global presence," says McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner. "We will continue to focus our energy on developing sustainable sourcing practices and broadening our menu choices. Each year, we set goals that challenge us to put our resources toward strengthening communities and helping maintain a world that can carry all of us well into the future."

McDonald's actions initially will be focused on five raw material priorities: beef, poultry, coffee, palm oil, and packaging. Based on a thorough analysis conducted in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the five raw materials that are the initial focus of the SLMC were identified as having the most potential sustainability impacts.

As part of the SLMC, McDonald's is working with a multistakeholder group, the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, and select Regional Roundtables, to improve the sustainability of beef production. It also has sponsored and is piloting a three-year beef farm study, the largest of its kind, to investigate the carbon emissions on 350 beef farms across the U.K. and Ireland;

McDonald’s is also joining the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) this year and has committed to source only RSPO-certified Palm Oil by 2015. Finally, the company has joined the Sustainability Consortium, an independent organization dedicated to implementing measureable progress based on life-cycle science.

"We know that our customers care about where their food comes from," says Francesca DeBiase, McDonald's vice president for Strategic Sourcing. "McDonald's and our suppliers have taken many positive steps in the past 20 years to improve the sustainability of our supply chain, and now we're reaching even higher with our vision for sourcing all of our food and packaging from certified sustainable sources."

The Sustainable Land Management Commitment was announced in conjunction with the release of McDonald's 2010 Worldwide Corporate Responsibility (CR) Report.

In the latest Web-based corporate responsibility report, themed "What We're Made Of," McDonald's demonstrates measurable gains in the areas of sustainable supply chain, nutrition and well-being, environmental responsibility, employment experience, community, and corporate governance and ethics. 

In nutrition and well-being, servings of fruits and vegetables offered continued to increase and additional menu items were added, including oatmeal in the U.S., to offer more choice and variety. With environmental responsibility, McDonald’s, through several global energy efficiency efforts, decreased the reported kilowatt hours per transaction count.

As for employment experience, McDonald's continues its diversity leadership. More than 26 percent of women comprise the top management team, and 49 percent of all restaurant managers are women

Finally, in the area of community work, McDonald's and its customers around the world have raised $170 million during the annual McHappy Day fundraiser since 2002 to support Ronald McDonald House Charities and other children's causes.

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