Earlier this year, McDonald’s pledged to end deforestation across its supply chain throughout the world. The goal is to make sustainability the new norm by putting people, processes, and practices into place. Taking the first step to fulfill the pledge, McDonald’s in Europe will use recycled material for all of its wood-fiber packaging.
McDonald’s currently uses about 170,000 tons of wood fiber every year in its European packaging, and has identified wood fiber as a “priority raw material” alongside beef, coffee, fish and palm oil. Following up on this, it will completely switch to chain of custody certified material for paper or card based products, such as burger boxes, napkins, straw wrappers, and coffee cups, by the end of next year. Chain of custody certification is a mechanism for tracing back the wood, wood-fiber, and non-wood forest produce to original source, that is, the sustainably managed forests.
The sustainability approach for food and packaging manufacturers and distributors is designed to increase energy and fuel efficiency and reduce the collective carbon footprint. Rolf Huwyler, senior manager of environment and CSR at McDonald’s, in an interaction with Business Green said, “I believe it’s all about having a clear goal and strategies and then taking steps together with all partners concerned. We will collaborate with our suppliers as well as government, civil society and industry to practically address deforestation.”