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Largest McDonald’s Franchisee Plans Sustainable Sourcing for Packaging, Palm Oil, Fish

The world’s largest McDonald’s franchisee, Arcos Dorados, acknowledged in its just-published sustainability report that its large footprint across Latin America and the Caribbean means that it must “take a leadership role” in terms of implementing programs that will improve its environmental impact. The company said, for example, that “many” of its products are sustainably sourced, including all of its coffee and fish in Brazil. By 2020, Arcos Dorados says it will sustainably source all of its packaging, coffee, palm oil and fish. *

The franchisee has also implemented a program in its seven largest markets in which water condensation from air conditioners is repurposed for other uses in order to reduce the total water usage of its restaurants.

Arcos Dorados says it is aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Recently, Arcos Dorados announced that it will be requesting information from its key suppliers on how they are managing the risks linked to deforestation. The company joined McDonald’s and L’Oreal on the CDP’s supply chain disclosure platform, a group which is combining the purchasing power of its members to achieve deforestation-free commodity supply chains.

Deforestation is responsible for 10% to 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to CDP. Companies disclosing to CDP revealed that nearly 25% of their revenues depend on the four commodities responsible for most tropical forest loss: cattle, timber, palm oil and soy. Deforestation therefore represents a significant business risk, with 2016 CDP analysis revealing that as much as $906 billion in annual turnover could be at stake.

*Editor’s note: sustainable sourcing seems to be a rapidly emerging trend among organizations that rely on natural ingredients for their products. Companies that source  rubber, coffee, bamboo and palm oil, for example, have recently said they need sustainable supply chains in order to ensure that, as the world’s resources continue to dwindle, they will still be able to obtain the materials they need. Concerns over supply chain risk – and steps taken to combat potential issues – have increased among some manufacturers because of the potential scarcity of natural resources in coming years, according to a recent study from 3M.

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