McDonald’s Corporation 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 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.
The Plan for Change includes the steps McDonald’s UK&I is taking both now, and in the future, alongside clear deadlines and commitments as it looks to go further to support the planet and the communities it serves.
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.
Key goals from the Plan for Change include:
- Planet: Aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 across McDonald’s UK&I entire business and value chain, which includes using soy in ingredients and the animal feed in its supply chain that is deforestation free by 2026.
- People: Champion great people, whatever their background byhelping one million people gain new skills and open doors to jobs by 2030. As part of this, McDonald’s UK&I will have supported 3,000 apprentices by 2025, and will introduce a youth worker into every UK restaurant by 2024.
- Restaurants: Create a blueprint for new freehold restaurants to be built to a UK industry net zero emissions standard from 2022. McDonald’s UK&I will aim to achieve net zero emissions for all its restaurants (and offices) by 2030.
- Food: Go even further to source quality, sustainable ingredients and support its suppliers, including investing in sector-leading research through a new Sustainable Beef Network. By 2023, McDonald’s UK&I will 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, 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 4 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. McDonald’s has also been sourcing responsibly for over 20 years, with its menu already including 100% British and Irish beef, free range eggs, organic milk, RSPCA-assured pork, MSC-certified fish and Rainforest Alliance certified coffee.
UK net zero business champion, Andrew Griffith said: “Having an iconic brand like McDonald’s join the hundreds of businesses across the UK that have signed up to the UN’s Race to Net Zero campaign is an exciting milestone.
“I hope businesses across the UK will be inspired by their ambitious initiatives, helping us all to build back greener.”