During a visit to the UN, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told other world leaders he was ‘increasingly frustrated’ that efforts to tackle climate change were ‘nowhere near enough.’ At McDonald’s we believe it’s never been clearer that now is the time for us all, including businesses, to match our words with action.
We’ve been serving communities across the country since 1974, and have a long history making a difference where it matters. From turning cooking oil into fuel for our delivery trucks to removing thousands of metric tonnes of plastic from our business, we’re committed to making a positive difference to our planet.
But this moment in time requires us to accelerate our ambition. That means not just keeping pace with change, but leading the change, and playing our part in bringing a more sustainable, fairer future within closer reach for everyone. We are one of the world’s largest companies, and our scale can pose us the greatest challenge but, as I said in a recent panel discussion with The Spectator, our size also gives us access to considerable resources and expertise to be able to have a greater effect and a more positive effect on the planet.
Last month we launched our 100 per cent vegan McPlant burger, and now we’re excited to announce our ‘Plan for Change’. The Plan includes the steps McDonald’s UK & Ireland is taking now and will take in the future, alongside clear goals to help us lead positive change from farms to front counter.
The Plan builds on the leading moves we’ve made over the past two decades to reduce our impact on the planet. We aim to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 across our entire UK & Ireland business and value chain to have a positive impact on climate. We’re committed to championing sustainable practices and harnessing innovation to protect forests and promote soil health, biodiversity and water management. This includes the launch of a new ‘nature positive’ programme in 2023, and our commitment to sourcing deforestation-free soy for ingredients and animal feed in our supply chain by 2026.
We have always been a people business and are proud to give many a start in their working life. We now want to make an even bigger impact, ensuring our team — from restaurants to boardroom — is as inclusive and diverse as our communities. We’ve committed to help one million people into training, jobs or new opportunities by 2030. To us, that’s not just a number. That’s one million lives we can help to change.
We believe great food deserves to be served in great, sustainable restaurants. This means making sure all our restaurants are net zero in line with the UKGBC Net Zero Emissions Standard and the SBTi net zero criteria. We’re proud to be opening our first restaurant certified to these standards in Shropshire this November – a first for the UK industry. We also believe that the future of materials is circular and by 2027 we aim to ensure McDonald’s restaurant waste is given a second life and is recycled, reused
We believe in great food and have been working on sustainable sourcing for over 20 years. Sustainable sourcing begins with sustainable farming, so we will continue to innovate with the 23,000 British and Irish farmers we work with to help drive transformational change across the industry. That includes investing in sector-leading research through a new Sustainable Beef Network. We also want to help our customers understand where their food comes from, so we’re aiming to connect ten million families to farming, nature and the future of food by 2025 – and inspire the next generation to discover, enjoy and look after the natural world.
Our Plan for Change will help us lead positive change right across our business, our industry, and our communities. Imagine the impact if around 1,400 restaurants, 130,000 staff, more than 23,000 farmers and four million daily customers change a little, so together we can change a lot.
By Beth Hart, Vice President Supply Chain and Brand Trust
To find out more, please visit Plan for Change