McDonald’s Joins Sustainability ConsortiumThursday, April 07, 2011
McDonald’s Corp. has joined the Sustainability Consortium, an independent organization of diverse global participants that work collaboratively to build a scientific foundation that drives product sustainability innovation. The consortium, co-directed by the University of Arkansas and Arizona State University, comprises some of the world’s leading retailers, such as Walmart, Best Buy, Disney and Safeway, and such leading consumer product manufacturers such as Alberto Culver, MillerCoors, General Mills and Proctor and Gamble.
“It’s more transformational to work with others,” said Bob Langert, McDonald’s vice president for corporate social responsibility. “Sustainability issues as they relate to food, in particular, are often confusing in the public domain. There is too narrow a definition of sustainability, and the consortium will help shape what this means for our systems, our suppliers and our overall global impact.”
Langert sees McDonald’s role as helping to lead the charge and engage retailers — food service and otherwise — by becoming a part of the Sustainability Consortium.
“Our sustainable approach can only reach as far as our consumers’ comprehension and personal investment,” said Langert. “Companies help lead the way in sustainable living, but the reward is changing together with our consumers.”
McDonald’s ongoing efforts to become more sustainable are documented through web-based corporate responsibility reports. Earlier this month, McDonald’s announced its commitment to serving food that is sourced from certified sustainable sources. This Sustainable Land Management Commitment requires that, over time, the company’s suppliers will only use agricultural raw materials for the company’s food and packaging that originate from sustainably managed land. Additionally, McDonald’s is working to improve the sustainability of beef production and has sponsored and is piloting a beef farm study to investigate the carbon emissions on 350 beef farms across the United Kingdom and Ireland. This study is the largest one of its kind ever to take place.
Their most recent corporate responsibility report demonstrates progress in the areas of sustainable supply chain, nutrition and well-being, environmental responsibility, employment experience, community, and corporate governance and ethics.
“Part of the consortium’s mission is to educate and inform the public, and with companies like McDonald’s joining in our efforts, we are certain to be more successful,” said Jon Johnson, co-director of the consortium and director of the Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas. “The McDonald’s team has exciting ideas and they have the ability to impact millions of people who are paying attention to their actions. To have an organization with this much visibility championing sustainable choices is truly impactful.”
McDonald's is the world's leading global food-service retailer with more than 32,000 locations serving approximately 64 million customers in 117 countries each day. More than 80 percent of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local men and women. To learn more, visit www.aboutmcdonalds.com and follow the company on Facebook and Twitter.
Co-administered by Arizona State University and the University of Arkansas, the Sustainability Consortium researches and publishes findings on the life cycle impacts of various product categories. The consortium provides decision makers and policymakers with a broader understanding of how new and innovative organizational strategies and technologies can assist in meeting various environmental, economic and social objectives. The Sustainability Consortium is a part of the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University and the Applied Sustainability Center at the University of Arkansas. You can find more information about these institutes at http://sustainability.asu.edu and http://asc.uark.edu. Learn more about the Sustainability Consortium at www.sustainabilityconsortium.org.
Danielle Strickland, director of development communications
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