ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE
Sustainable Brands Issue in Focus
CHANNELS    |    Behavior Change      Leadership      Products & Design      Supply Chain      Marketing & Comms      New Metrics    |    MORE

McDonald's Reveals CSR/Sustainability Framework and Host of 2020 Goals

This week, McDonald’s unveiled its first Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability Framework. The fast-food giant says the goal of the plan is to position the company for the future, while generating measurable, positive impacts for society.

McDonald’s released the framework in conjunction with its 2012-2013 CSR & Sustainability Report, “Our Journey Together. For Good.

Among the company’s 2020 goals:

  • Supporting sustainable beef production by collaborating to develop global principles and criteria, and committing to begin purchasing a portion of beef from verified sustainable sources in 2016
  • Sourcing 100 percent of coffee, palm oil and fish that is verified to support sustainable production
  • Procuring 100 percent of its fiber-based packaging from certified or recycled sources
  • Serving 100 percent more fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy or whole grains in nine of its top markets
  • Increasing in-restaurant recycling to 50 percent and minimizing waste in nine of its top markets
  • Increasing energy efficiency in company-owned restaurants by 20 percent in seven of its top markets

Bob Langert,
McDonald's VP of CSR and Sustainability,
speaker at SB '14 San Diego

“McDonald’s is a company with the power to help transform the global food marketplace and to lead its industry towards sustainability,” said Suzanne Apple, SVP of Private Sector Engagement at WWF. “While this is a journey and requires a long-term vision, these sustainability goals are a great step forward in addressing issues that are key to McDonald’s business and value chain.”

“We’re on our way to mainstreaming sustainability,” said Bob Langert, McDonald’s VP of Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability. “Sustainability doesn’t fully happen until the consumer is engaged and connected. In addition to catapulting momentum on key social and environmental issues, the difference McDonald’s can make is bringing sustainability to the masses, making it part of our everyday business life and the lives of our customers.”  

In addition to previously reported commitments to increasing the availability of healthier food options in Happy Meals and across its entire menu, and sourcing 100 percent of its whitefish from certified sustainable fisheries, the report highlights other company efforts, including:

  • installing roughly 300,000 pieces of more energy-efficient kitchen and building equipment in restaurants worldwide since 2010;
  • of the more than 34,000 restaurants surveyed in 2013, about 90% reported recycling used cooking oil and about 77% reported recycling corrugated cardboard

McDonald’s has created quite a challenge for itself with these commitments — not only in fulfilling them but essentially in announcing a goal of making fast food healthy for its customers and the world at large.


Jennifer Elks is Managing Editor at Sustainable Brands. She is a writer, editor and foodie who is passionate about improving food systems, closing loops and creating more livable cities. She loves cooking, wine, cooking with wine, correcting spelling errors in… [Read more about Jennifer Elks]