Yum Brands, parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, today announced it will decrease its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 46% by 2030 in partnership with its franchisees, suppliers, and producers. The company also pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The science-based targets (SBTs) are consistent with reductions required to keep warming to 1.5ºC and have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.
Yum’s climate change strategy will focus primarily on emission reductions at its more than 50,000 corporate and franchise restaurants and throughout its supply chain. By 2030, Yum says it will cut GHG emissions generated by its corporate restaurants and offices, defined as Scope 1 and 2, 46% below 2019 levels. Working alongside franchisees, suppliers and producers, defined as Scope 3 or its value chain, Yum will also reduce emissions 46% below 2019 levels during that same timeframe on a per-restaurant basis for franchisees and a per-metric ton basis for beef, poultry, dairy, and packaging.
Yum’s efforts include:
- Investing in Green Buildings – KFC continues to invest in its green building strategy and is piloting multiple energy optimization systems across its markets that it will look to scale, including in Malaysia, South Africa, and the U.K. The tests are seeing promising results, including 18% overall energy savings in Malaysia and projected savings of more than 5.4 million kWh over five years in the U.K.
- Accelerating Renewable Energy – Yum will move 1,000 restaurants around the world to renewable energy by the end of 2021, the equivalent of eliminating emissions from 38,000 vehicles. This new commitment builds on existing research and pilot programs conducted in recent years to move more restaurants to renewable energy in markets like KFC Australia. Additionally, Yum moved its corporate offices in the US to 100% renewable energy in 2020.
- Collaborating with Climate Forward Partners – In early 2021, Yum joined the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), an alliance of large energy buyers, energy providers and service providers that have joined together to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon energy future.
Yum’s new goals and expanded work build on the progress it has made over the past 15 years when it comes to energy reduction and are part of its broader citizenship and sustainability strategy called its Recipe for Good. Yum set its first energy conservation goal in 2006, and since 2017 it has reduced its GHG emissions an estimated 18% on a per-restaurant average. Sustainable restaurant development has also been a key element of Yum’s sustainability strategy, building its first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified green restaurant in 2009 and totaling 45 LEED-certified green restaurants globally to date.
Further, in 2020, the company announced it would accelerate efforts to remove Styrofoam and expanded polystyrene foam globally from consumer-facing packaging. The move means phasing out foam packaging completely across all KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell locations worldwide by 2022.
Previous Yum Brands sustainable packaging efforts included becoming a supporting partner of the NextGen Consortium, which is working to advance food-service packaging solutions that are recoverable across global infrastructures. Yum Brands also vowed to source 100% of fiber-based packaging from certified or recycled sources by the end of this year.