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McDonald’s Works to Mainstream Sustainability Across Global Supply Chain

McDonald has released its 2011 Global Sustainability Scorecard, indicating its progress to improving healthy eating choices on its menu (with fruit) but also its progress toward a measurably sustainable supply chain.

The scorecard reviews the company’s progress in five priority areas — nutrition and wellbeing, sustainable supply chain, environmental responsibility, employee experience and community.

The 2011 scorecard analyzes the company’s top nine markets: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the U.S., but in broader terms reviews and discusses on  to the company’s global system of owner/operators, suppliers and company employees.

Regarding progress toward its sustainable supply chain goals, McDonald’s said that it has met its goal of actually defining its targets for 2010/2011, scoring itself with a 3 out of 3 points.

The company also has a stated goal to reduce the environmental impact of its direct suppliers, but sees this as an ongoing task. McDonald’s scored itself a 2 out of 3 points in this area.

According to the company website, the real supply chain challenges for the company are upstream from McDonald’s — influenced by direct suppliers and their supplier partners.

However, more of its suppliers are participating in the corporate mission, and using the company’s “Supplier Environmental Scorecard.”

The total number of suppliers participating in the program has grown, impacting the percentages between 2009 and 2010.

In 2010, 95 percent of its food, packaging, equipment, development and marketing supplies signed a code of conduct for the corporation, up from 79 percent in 2009. By contrast, in 2009 91 percent of McDonald’s suppliers completed their online assessments on schedule compared to the 74 percent who did so in 2010.

Overall, McDonald’s said that it is committed to sourcing all food and packaging from sustainable sources, with an initial focus on beef, poultry, coffee, palm oil, fish and fiber.

In 2010, more than 36% of the virgin fiber used in consumer packaging came from certified sources.

In the area of beef,  the company points to its participation in initiatives supporting more sustainable beef in Europe, Australia and South America.

The company considers one of its notable achievement in the past ten years has been its progress on sustainable sourcing for its fish. The company said that 99 percent of fish worldwide are sourced from Marine Stewardship Council-certified fisheries, and all fish is wild caught.

McDonald’s Europe certified its 7,000 European locations to the MSC chain of custody traceability standards, making it the first restaurant company to offer sustainable fish throughout Europe.

In addition to food and food sourcing, McDonald’s continues to focus on defining, and then achieving measurable progress in the area of Environmental Responsibility.

In 2011, McDonald’s said that it has developed stronger energy-related metrics, with a focus on company-owned restaurants. McDonald’s top nine major markets made significant improvements in energy data gathering and reporting capabilities.

The company selected and made  available for purchase to its franchises more than 90 pieces of more energy-efficient equipment as well as outlined a set of strategies — e.g. energy-efficient lighting —  for improved energy efficiency at the restaurant level.

The company saw an increase in its kilowatt hours used per transaction metric between 2009 and 2010, from 1.68 kWh/GC to 1.77 kWh/GC, respectively. 2009 data in this case did not include Australia, Brazil of China, and the pool of reporting restaurants grew from 18 percent in 2009 to 36 percent in 2010.

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