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Essential insight
•	 If you've got positive commitments,
let everyone know. McDonald's has has
publicly committed ...
materials but also how those materials can
get recycled in its restaurants, says Huwyler.
The challenge of making ...
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McDonald's targets 100% sustainable packaging

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A huge challenge lies ahead of the world's biggest restaurant chain, largely run by franchises.

Taken from Innovation Forum's Supply Chain Risk & Innovation publication, published ten times a year on a subscription basis. The publication brings together concise, practical insight into global supply chains.

Required reading for senior management, buyers, business sustainability professionals and all who advise them, Supply Chain Risk & Innovation distils all the myriad information, data, research and comment, presented it in a clear, analytical format.

This piece comes from our third issue, to which you can receive as part of a free 3 month trial, should you subscribe by Friday 4th March here: http://innovation-forum.co.uk/supply-chain-risk-innovation-subscribe.php

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McDonald's targets 100% sustainable packaging

  1. 1. PAGE 12 Essential insight • If you've got positive commitments, let everyone know. McDonald's has has publicly committed to sustainably source all packaging, unveiled as part of its 2014 global sustainability package. • While its European restaurants met the target for 100% of fibre-based packaging to be from sustainable sources in 2015, the rest of the world is lagging behind, with just 23% of fibre-based packaging globally from sustainable sources. • The business says it expects progress towards target to accelerate towards 2020. • Engagement is crucial for success. McDonald's admits that getting its franchisees on side – to understand where the company wants to get to – is going to be crucial if it is to meet its goals. CORPORATE CASE STUDY: MCDONALD'S McDonald’stargets100%sustainablepackaging Huge challenge lies ahead for world’s biggest restaurant chain, largely run by franchisees McDonald’s is the world’s largest restaurant chain and one of the most recognisable global brands. As such, its activities have attracted a lot of attention over the years and in the past its record on sustainability issues has come under attack, not least for the amount of packaging it produces and its contribution to problems ranging from litter to deforestation. However, in the last few years it has rolled out a number of sustainability commitments, including its first global sustainability strategy, which was launched in 2014. The Global Sustainability Framework has five focus areas – food, sourcing, planet, people and community. Business value As part of that, its global vision is to source all food and packaging sustainably, says Rolf Huwyler, the company’s lead for global packaging sustainability. The company has identified six priority raw materials to focus on – alongside packaging it is also working to make its coffee, palm oil, poultry, fish and beef more sustainable. These efforts have already demonstrated their business value – in the 2013 horsemeat scandal that hit Europe, McDonald’s was able to say that it knew where the beef in every beefburger came from. All the company’s fish is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and, except for decaf, all its coffee is either Rainforest Alliance or Fairtrade International certified. Packaging is an area that has a big impact but many people don’t consider it, the company says. In Europe, since September 2015 all the group’s centrally sourced, fibre-based packaging – which includes cartons, cups, bags, napkins, wraps, tray liners and even the paper in which its straws are wrapped – has been chain of custody certified with the wood fibre coming from forests certified as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) or the Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). The move covers restaurants in 38 European countries. This paper- and card-based material makes up about 90% of such packaging and for the remaining 10% of plastic materials, the company is looking to use fewer materials, with those that it does use being more recycled and more recyclable. McDonald’s approach to sustainability across all raw materials is guided by the “3 Es” of ethics (setting high standards in people practices and animal welfare), environment (minimising environmental impacts) and economics (ensuring the economic viability of agricultural communities). For packaging, it has come up with a more holistic strategy that encompasses more sustainable packaging CORPORATE INSIGHTSUPPLY CHAIN RISK & INNOVATION During the 2013 European horsemeat scandal, McDonald’s was able to say that it knew where the beef in every beefburger came from Paper and card materials makes up 90%OF PACKAGING Expert commentary “McDonald’s has made good progress towards more sustainable packaging in its European operations, but as a global business it will need to accelerate progress in its laggard markets. Finding the right mix of incentives, recognition and education to win over sceptical franchisees is obviously important to further progress.” Prof David Grayson, Cranfield University School of Management’s Doughty Centre for Corporate Responsibility
  2. 2. PAGE 13 materials but also how those materials can get recycled in its restaurants, says Huwyler. The challenge of making packaging more sustainable is that sometimes the most sustainable option from an environmental point of view collides with food safety regulations. McDonald’s packaging has to meet multiple challenges – from protecting food, to ensuring it is fresh, hot, convenient, but also safe to eat. The sustainable packaging target fits in to a global vision for McDonald’s to source sustainably all of its food and packaging around the world. The European division has been leading the way, achieving the target last year. The company uses as much recycled material in its packaging as is safe and practical for the business – for example, all napkins are made from 100% recycled materials, the company says. Franchisee challenge McDonald’s has a unique challenge when it comes to tackling sustainability in that 75-80% of its restaurants around the world are run by franchisees rather than owned by the company itself, says Joanna de Koning, senior manager in the company’s European communications team. She says she sees the business as a three-legged stool – the company, the franchisees and the suppliers; MCDONALD'S FACTS: CORPORATE INSIGHTSUPPLY CHAIN RISK & INNOVATION and it is crucial it gets the franchisees on board with all sustainability efforts. However, the biggest challenge is handling many different suppliers involved across many markets, the company says. Working closely with all suppliers, providing support and sharing knowledge to develop best practice, Huwyler says the advice he would give to others would be to ensure you have a strong and clear strategy so all partners involved always know where you are heading. “This was one of the most important elements of the journey for us.” All of the company’s largest European markets have plans to increase the percentage of waste that is recycled in their restaurants. In the kitchens, frying oil, organic waste and corrugated PE foil are recycled and in markets where national recycling schemes are in place, many restaurants also separate customer waste for recycling or are trialling this. However, progress is slower in other regions. As of 2014, the company’s most recent global update, it had sourced 23% fibre-based packaging from verified sustainable sources. However, the company says it expects to see tangible progress year-by-year in the lead up to 2020. t is looking at the progress in Europe and seeking to apply lessons learnt there to other markets. ★ Certification in the bag 75-80%of McDonald’s restaurants globally are run by franchisees 100%OFMCDONALD’S NAPKINSAREMADE from recycled materials All centrally sourced fibre- based packaging is chain of custody certified – covering 38 European countries As of 2014, the business had sourced 23% of fibre-based packaging from verified sustainable sources