Sustainable Energy

McDonald's sets ambitious targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions

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Fast food giant McDonald's wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions related to its restaurants and offices by 36 percent between 2015 and 2030.

The business said it would partner with both franchisees and suppliers to work towards the goal. It has also committed to a 31 percent cut in emissions intensity per metric ton of food and packaging across its supply chain by 2030, compared to 2015.

The goals have been approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative. The Science Based Targets Initiative is a collaboration between the World Resources Institute, the World Wildlife Fund, CDP (previously known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) and the United Nations Global Compact. It helps businesses assess the amount of emissions they need to cut in order to help tackle climate change.

The company said that, through its actions, it expected to prevent the release of 150 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. "To create a better future for our planet, we must all get involved," Steve Easterbrook, president and CEO of McDonald's, said in a statement Tuesday.

"McDonald's is doing its part by setting this ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to address the challenge of global climate change," he added. "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 said it would look to target the biggest sections of its carbon footprint: beef production, restaurant energy usage and sourcing packaging and waste. Together, these sectors represented around 64 percent of the company's global emissions.

The business said it would introduce improvements including energy efficient kitchen equipment, LED lighting as well as sustainable packaging and restaurant recycling. It would also support sustainable agriculture practices.