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Green Champions - McDonalds

Green Champions - McDonalds

Green Champions: McDonalds

McDonald’s is one of the world’s largest corporations. They are not often in the news for anything good, but in fact, the fast food giant is one of the hardest working companies when it comes to striving to be sustainable.

Working for a sustainable future

As a huge corporation, they realise that they have a responsibility to protect and preserve the environment for future generations. To do this, they have numerous goals and strategies, aimed at reducing waste, using resources more efficiently, and improving the communities in which they operate.

Keeping Britain Tidy

McDonalds recognise that they are a part of the community in which they operate, so they do daily litter patrols in the areas surrounding their restaurants, and they join forces with local clean up events in conjunction with national organisations such as Keep Britain Tidy.

Encouraging responsible waste disposal

The company encourages their customers to dispose of their waste responsibly by putting messages on their packaging, and providing bins and signage in their restaurants and in the surrounding area.

McDonalds Burger

Litter patrols

Since 1982, employees of McDonald’s restaurants have been going out every day to collect litter that’s been dropped in the local areas. During the patrols, employees pick up many different types of litter, not just McDonald’s packaging, to help keep the streets clean. It is estimated that around 150,000 miles are walked every year by employees picking up litter.

Community clean up events

McDonald’s works closely with organisations such as Keep Britain Tidy, and Keep Scotland Beautiful. They were one of the founders of the anti-littering campaign, ‘Love Where You Live.’

In 2015, the company organised over 380 local clean up events, which involved over 11,000 members of staff and volunteers. By doing this, they hope to set an example to local people, so that they might think about taking pride in the place they live in.

Reducing waste and recycling more

As part of McDonald’s goal to reduce the impact of their operations on the environment, they try to reuse and recycle materials wherever possible. Their goal is to recycle at least 50% of the waste they produce, and to send the rest to energy recovery facilities, rather than landfill.

Reducing Waste

McDonald’s have implemented more efficient stock control and production systems to reduce waste. They are trying to reduce the amount of material used in their packaging. They have already resized their Big Mac boxes, which saves 434 tonnes of paper each year.

Recycling waste

The company recycles most of the waste from their restaurant kitchens, including plastic and paper packaging, used cooking oil, cardboard and organic food waste. The used cooking oil is recycled and made into biofuel, which fuels their delivery vehicles, reducing carbon emissions by over 7,500 tonnes each year.

The company will be installing recycling units to separate paper cups and plastic for recycling, to encourage customers to recycle. They were introduced into Scottish restaurants by the end of 2016, and they will be in all UK restaurants by the end of 2018. They have begun working with a paper cup recycling company who can make the cups into new products.

Organic Food Waste

Creating energy from waste

Where waste can’t be reused or recycled, it is often sent to energy recovery facilities, where it is converted into heat and power.

Sustainable sourcing of products

Every cup of tea and coffee the company sells is Rainforest Alliance certified, so they know that the products meet environmental standards, and that they welfare of workers in the producing countries is protected.

The fish that the company uses in its products comes from fisheries which use sustainable fishing practices.

Using renewable and recycled materials

The company uses as much recycled material in their packaging as possible. All napkins used in their restaurants are made from 100% recycled materials. They want to make all of their packaging from recycled materials by 2020.

Using renewable electricity

The company are investing in renewable energy, and most of their UK restaurants now operate on 100% renewable electricity.

Reducing energy use

They have increased their energy efficiency by investing in new technologies like LED lights and faster toasters in restaurants.

Most of the restaurants use energy management systems which make sure that the lighting, heating and air conditioning systems use as little energy as possible. Staff also receive training on how to use energy and water in an efficient way.

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