McDonald’s Pursuing Sustainable Beef

Image from Green Biz.

Image from Green Biz.

January 9, 2014

By Dr. Tyra OldhamLANDsds Sustainable Voice News

McDonald’s is in pursuit of sustainability opportunities.  It is interesting the turn of phrase sustainable beef which in the minds of many could result in thinking “long-term beef”. The news is more about long-term cattle development and the impact on environment.  The result of this thinking has led to the “Exclusive: Inside McDonald’s quest for sustainable beef” for long-term development and optimization.

“McDonald’s announces that it will begin purchasing verified sustainable beef in 2016, the first step on a quest to purchase sustainable beef for all of its burgers worldwide. Our vision is to buy verifiable, sustainable beef in the future for all of our beef,” said Bob Langert, McDonald’s vice president, global sustainability. “We have achieved internal alignment and energy around that aspirational goal, which is a big task,” he told Green Biz during a November visit to the company’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Ill.

The topic of food is vutal ingredient in sustainability. Many of the world’s population are under nourished and do not access to healthy foods.  Further, many of the world’s population are struggling with diabetes, obesity and malnutrition. Company’s such as, McDonald’s must consider the agricultural demands of today and the future creating sustainable strategy and planning.

To remain food source no matter one’s feeling on the food itself requires new thinking. “Langert says McDonald’s isn’t yet ready to commit to a specific quantity it would purchase in 2016, or when it might achieve its “aspirational goal” of buying 100 percent of its beef from “verified sustainable sources.” (The company only will say, “We will focus on increasing the annual amount each year.”) Realistically, it could take a decade or more to achieve the 100-percent goal.”

“Beef isn’t the only sustainability issue the company is looking at. For years, the company has been addressing the environmental and social impacts of its supply chain, one ingredient at a time. The company’s Sustainable Land Management Commitment, unveiled in 2011, requires suppliers to gradually source food and materials from sustainably managed land, although there are no specific timelines, and it is initially focusing on beef, poultry, fish, coffee, palm oil and packaging. Notably missing for now are pork, potatoes and other produce.”

More opportunities exist in “The land management initiative led the company to commit to source-only palm oil certified by theRoundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil by 2015. All of its fish worldwide come from fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council. McDonald’s requires its suppliers to source 100 percent Rainforest Alliance certified coffee for its espresso in the United States, for all of its coffee in Australia and New Zealand and all of it in Europe except for decaf. In 2012, about 25 percent of McDonald’s coffee bean purchases worldwide were certified by Rainforest Alliance, UTZ Certified and Fair Trade USA.”

The pursuit for sustainability is not easily understood but a vital lens, process, strategy, plan to longevity, profitability and productivity. The sustainability opportunity alludes but the need to optimize resources is where savings across platforms will occur.

To learn more about sustainability planning and strategy for sustainable development solutions contact LAND sds.


LANDsds Sustainable Voice is a news platform to share interconnected ideas, innovation and observation-The Nexuses.

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Posted in Business, Economics, Food, Global Sustainability, Health, LAND sds, Manufacturing and Processes, Organizational Change, Sustainability, Sustainability Nexuses, Sustainable Voice, Voice News

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