Hold the beef: McDonald’s avoids the bold step it must take to cut emissions | Environment | The Guardian
My friend came to me with a project she did about McDonalds and their sustainability initiatives. I was curious to see what they were really doing, and if these practices were substantive to the sustainable development goals. I found this article from the guardian that strongly criticizes McDonalds for not making a change in one area- beef consumption. The article states that there are estimated 53m metric tons of greenhouse gasses produced from McDonalds in 2020, and that number alone exceeds the emissions numbers of certain entire European nations. McDonalds recent sustainability initiative aimed to cut their emissions by 36% by 2030. However, the article also goes on to say that after their plan was analyzed by climate scientists, the math appears to be questionable. The plan is very vague, and has a confusing timeline. The bottom line, is that the area in which they could cut back their emissions in the largest way is not even in discussion. I think this brings into question the role of big industry in decision making for the McDonalds brand. They are also one of the only fast food brands of their kind to not introduce a plant base burger option. The article clearly states that they believe for major greenwashing to be occurring in their advertisements of sustainability. It is also discussed about the complexity of this issue, being beyond one brands problem. They discuss that there must be systematic change in the food industry in order to make real change. This article made me realize that we cannot accept brands claims for sustainability, and it is important to question the information that comes our way.