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McDonald’s Reports 6% GHG Increase

mcdonalds logoScope 1 and scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions went up 5.9 percent at company-owned McDonald’s restaurants between 2013 and 2014, according to the fast food company’s 2014 Good Business Report. The report outlines the company’s 2014 progress toward sustainability goals outlined in its Sustainability Framework.

The increase in GHG emissions corresponds to a 6 percent decrease in energy efficiency per customer between 2013 and 2014, which McDonald’s attributes to lower guest counts and other factors.

By 2020, McDonalds aims for 100 percent of its fiber-based packaging to come from certified or recycled sources. Over the last three years, the company has made progress toward this goal. Globally in 2014, 23 percent of fiber-based consumer packaging came from verified sustainable sources, compared to 13.9 percent in 2013 and 9.3 percent in 2012.

In 2014, McDonald’s came close to achieving its 2020 goal of having 100 percent of palm oil used for restaurant cooking or by McDonald’s suppliers to par-fry chicken and potato products be RSPO-certified sustainable or covered by GreenPalm Book and Claim certificates by 2015. As of the end of 2014, about 97 percent of palm oil used for these purposes was either certified or covered in this way.

In 2014, McDonald’s announced it would begin purchasing verified sustainable beef in 2016.

McDonald’s Europe is making progress on its zero waste to landfill vision. Road maps have been set in three-year intervals, and annual progress will be tracked via an online questionnaire. In 2013, an average of 34 percent of total waste (by weight) from restaurants in 26 European countries was being recycled. Data from 2014 was still being finalized at the time the 2014 Good Business Report was released.

By 2020, McDonald’s plans to increase the amount of in-restaurant recycling by 50 percent in its top nine markets. The company was not able to report on its 2014 progress against this goal because it does not have sufficient global waste data. McDonald’s is developing a better, more holistic recycling tracking methodology applicable to waste streams across all restaurants in the top nine markets.

In 2014, McDonalds also began developing a long-term water stewardship strategy for its restaurants and supply chain, which it hopes to finalize in this year.

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