Today, fast-food giant McDonald's made a stunning announcement that will change the future of the fast-food industry. According to this announcement, McDonald's is the first restaurant company to set approved science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thought by scientists to contribute to global climate change.
Says McDonald's in its announcement:
"Today, McDonald's announces it will partner with franchisees and suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions related to McDonald's restaurants and offices by 36% by 2030 from a 2015 base year in a new strategy to address global climate change. Additionally, McDonald's commits to a 31% reduction in emissions intensity (per metric ton of food and packaging) across its supply chain by 2030 from 2015 levels. This combined target has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)."
According to the company, this new strategy -- a part of its Scale for Good initiative -- will 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.
McDonald's says that it will prioritize action in collaboration with thousands of franchisees, suppliers and producers, prioritizing action on the largest segments of its carbon footprint. These segments combined account for approximately 64% of McDonald's global emissions:
- Beef production
- Restaurant energy usage and sourcing
- Packaging and waste
If McDonald's goes through with its plan (there's no reason to think that it won't), then the company is going to have a tremendously positive impact on the world around us given its huge, global scale. And as we have seen with other McDonald's initiatives, when the company sets the pace, others follow.