Roughly 80% of McDonald’s total emissions come from its supply chain. They’re trying to reverse some of that damage by opening up their first net-zero carbon restaurant in England.
“What really matters is what’s on the menu and where is that sourced from? And that is going to be beef and chicken, and you’ve got a huge amounts of commodity-driven deforestation and emissions behind that that we need to dig into and manage and reduce,” said Dexter Galvin, Global Director of Corporations and Supply Chains at CDP.
Ninety-two square meters of solar panels and two wind turbines on site power the fast food restaurant, the walls are insulated with British sheep’s wool, which was otherwise destined for landfill and the building cladding is made from recycled equipment and household goods, like washing machines.
The drive-thru lane was constructed using recycled tires and the kerb stones were made from thousands of recycled plastic bottles.
McDonald’s says the model will be rolled out to other sites with an aim to reach net zero emissions for all 1,400 restaurants and offices in the United Kingdom by 2030.
Climate research nonprofit group CDP said it was a positive message to the consumer on moving to a net-zero future, but the main environmental impacts from McDonald’s remained their supply chain. McDonald’s is one of the largest beef purchasers in the world. Roughly 80% of its total emissions comes from its supply chain, in particular, its use of beef, chicken, dairy and other proteins.
Globally, McDonald’s emits 40 million tons of CO2 through its supply chain.
The direct emissions from their restaurants, known as scope one and two emissions, account for 1 million tons of CO2. Their goal is to cut global greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.