McDonald’s restaurants in India are using cooking oil to power delivery trucks 

  • The biodiesel program began as a pilot last year. It has now been scaled up to cover 85 McDonald’s restaurants in Mumbai.
  • In the U.K. McDonald's delivery lorries have been powered by biodiesel for 10 years.
  • Globally, the fast food giant wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions related to its restaurants and offices by 36 percent by 2030, using 2015 as a base year.
Dipak Hazra | Hindustan Times | Getty Images 

Ever wondered what happens to the golden oil used to cook your fries and nuggets once it’s no longer needed? Well, in India it’s being used as fuel.

The master franchisee for McDonald’s restaurants in west and south India, Hardcastle Restaurants Pvt Ltd (HRPL), is using biodiesel from used cooking oil to power its fleet of delivery trucks in Mumbai.

The biodiesel program began as a pilot last year. It has now been scaled up to cover all 85 McDonald’s restaurants in Mumbai. More than 35,000 liters of used cooking oil are being converted into biodiesel every month, helping to save more than 420,000 liters of crude oil annually.

HRPL is a subsidiary of Westlife Development Limited, which is listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange. As of September 2017 Westlife Development Limited operated, via HRPL, 265 McDonald’s restaurants across 36 cities.

“We strongly believe in protecting our environment and that makes sustainability and conservation an important part of our operations in India,” Amit Jatia, vice chairman of Westlife Development, said in a press release Monday.

“This is just the beginning and we will continue to champion the cause of environment protection in the years to come,” Jatia added.

The move was also welcomed by the Biodiesel Association Of India. Its president, Sandeep Chaturvedi, said that the association was encouraging “all food companies to learn from this initiative and apply it in their own business model.”

McDonald’s has ambitious plans when it comes to sustainability and the environment. In the U.K., for example, its delivery lorries have been powered by biodiesel for 10 years. This has helped the business save almost 7,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year compared to traditional fleets.

Globally, the fast food giant wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions related to its restaurants and offices by 36 percent by 2030, using 2015 as a base year. It has said it will partner with both franchisees and suppliers to work toward the goal.