McDonald’s is the first restaurant to serve up a science-based target

The fast food giant is partnering with franchisees and suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 36% by 2030 from a 2015 base year.

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McDonald’s has also committed to reducing emissions intensity (per metric ton of food and packaging) by nearly a third (31%) across its supply chain from 2015 levels.

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has approved this combined target, McDonald’s says.

The restaurant chain expects to cut 150 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

This is the equivalent of taking 32 million cars off the road for a year or planting 3.8 billion trees and growing them for a decade, McDonald’s says.

To meet its target, the business says it will increase efficiency across its supply chain and operations through improvements such as LED lighting, energy efficient kitchen equipment and supporting sustainable agriculture practices.

There’s also an emphasis on sustainable packaging and recycling – McDonald’s recently announced that all its packaging will come from renewable, recycled or certified sources by 2025.

By teaming up with franchisees, suppliers and producers, McDonald’s says it’s targeting the largest segments of its carbon footprint: beef production, restaurant energy usage and sourcing, packaging and waste, which combined account for nearly two-thirds (64%) of the business’s global emissions.

“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 Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s President and CEO.

“To meet this goal, we will source our food responsibly, promote renewable energy and use it efficiently, and reduce waste and increase recycling.”