Yesterday (4 October), fast food giant McDonalds told Reuters it will be targeting net-zero operations by 2050, with Chief Sustainability Officer Jenny McColloch telling the news outlet that the giant was ‘send[ing] a signal’ to the global community that it shares a vision for a decarbonised future.
Previously, McDonalds was targeting an emissions reduction of 36% by 2030, with 2015 acting as the baseline year. Now, the firm is intending to lower emissions throughout its entire supply chain by around a third by 2030 – with all of its close to 40,000 strong locations participating. The chain will be collaborating with nonprofit Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in pursuit of this aim. The SBTi is currently striving towards the 1.5C temperature target, which over 1,000 companies have committed to.
According to a press release, McDonalds has already seen an 8.5% reduction in total emissions since 2018 throughout its offices and restaurants, and a 5.9% decrease in its supply chain emissions – as compared to its 2015 baseline.
“We believe we have both a privilege and a responsibility to help lead on issues that matter most in communities – and there is no issue more urgent globally and of impact locally than protecting our planet for generations to come,” said Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “By committing to net zero through the SBTi’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign, we are helping every community we serve mitigate the impacts of climate change and adapt for the future.”
McDonald’s UK & Ireland has also announced its new restaurant location in Shropshire will be constructed and operated with a net-zero standard. This standard will be applied to all of the company’s UK & Ireland sites from 2022 onwards.
The company has already transitioned to renewable energy, though further measures such as carbon offsetting and retro-fitting buildings to have a lower environmental footprint are anticipated to help achieve the new target.