McDonald’s has announced its first targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, claiming it will “prevent 150 million metric tons of emissions by 2030.” That’s a 36% reduction compared with the restaurant chain’s 2015 emissions.
McDonald’s plan has been approved under the Science Based Target Initiative, which was set up to help companies set goals to support the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The burger firm says it will be able to meet its targets while continuing to grow it business, by taking a range of actions. McDonald’s (MCD) will switch its franchisees’ outlets to LED lighting, make their kitchen equipment more energy-efficient, and step up its sustainable packaging and recycling efforts.
The company also said it would “prioritize action” on beef production. Red meat is a particularly environmentally unfriendly foodstuff, due to the amount of energy it takes to farm, and McDonald’s has previously indicated that it wants to move towards more sustainable beef production.
“To create a better future for our planet, we must all get involved. McDonald’s is doing its part by setting this ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address the challenge of global climate change,” said CEO Steve Easterbrook. “To meet this goal, we will source our food responsibly, promote renewable energy and use it efficiently, and reduce waste and increase recycling.”
McDonald’s has also joined the We Are Still In coalition of U.S. firms that want to help meet the Paris Agreement targets, even though the country has a whole has pulled out of that global accord.
“While private-sector actions can’t entirely solve the climate crisis facing our planet, significant announcements like these, and coalitions like these working on climate together, create momentum and movement toward the scale of solutions that we ultimately need,” said Carter Roberts, who heads up the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the U.S.