OAK BROOK, ILL. — McDonald’s Corp. announced plans to purchase verified sustainable beef in 2016.
The company explained on a new web site the goal of the campaign is to have a positive influence on how beef is produced through improving environmental practices and animal health and welfare, among other endeavors. A 2013 life cycle analysis of the company’s carbon footprint further motivated the company to address sustainability issues within its global supply chain and restaurants.
According to the site: “We found that about 70% of our greenhouse gas emission impacts are in our supply chain, and of those, around 40% are related to beef. Even though our purchases represent less than 2% of the total beef and dairy industry, we are working with other end users and the broader beef industry to address this important topic.”
McDonald’s noted that achieving its goal presents a challenge because “there hasn’t been a universal definition of sustainable beef.” In 2011 the chain turned to industry stakeholders such as Cargill, JBS and the World Wildlife Fund to develop the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.
The company also worked with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to present workshops focused on beef sustainability.
“We cannot do this alone, so we will listen, learn, and collaborate with stakeholders from farm to the front counter to develop sustainable beef solutions,” the company said.Last year, McDonald’s announced its decade-long commitment to sustainable fish sourcing by becoming the first national chain to adopt the Marine Stewardship Council’s blue eco-label on its fish packaging. The certification indicates that more than 14,000 McDonald’s restaurants nationwide have met the council’s standard to track the fish through the supply chain back to the fishery.