McDonald’s announces net-zero restaurants to ‘save planet’ by 2040

·3-min read

Watch: McDonald's pledges net-zero emissions by 2050

McDonald’s will open its first “net-zero” restaurant in the UK next month as part of ambitious plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.

The branch will open on the edge of Market Drayton, in Shropshire. It will be stocked with vegan plant-based food.

Customer packaging will be compostable and made from renewable, recycled or certified sources.

The site, which is currently near to completion, will be a blueprint for the burger chain’s new-build branches.

McDonald’s launched its first plant-based burger earlier this year  (PA Media)
McDonald’s launched its first plant-based burger earlier this year (PA Media)

McDonald’s new target which will revamp everything from the beef in its burgers to lightbulbs in restaurants.

They recently launched a 100 per cent vegan McPlant burger. The golden arches will offer customers more vegan plant-based food and drinks in the future.

From 2023, all new furniture in McDonald’s sites will be made with recycled or certified materials. The furniture will be designed to be recycled or reused when no longer needed.

The company currently operates around 1,400 British restaurants.

By 2040, it hopes to cut carbon emissions in the UK as part of its Plan for Change programme.

McDonald’s branch (Nick Ansell/PA) (PA Wire)
McDonald’s branch (Nick Ansell/PA) (PA Wire)

McDonald’s wants to reach net zero across the globe by 2050.

Net zero means emitting no more greenhouse gases than it absorbs through its business.

Paul Pomroy, of McDonald’s UK & Ireland, said: “McDonald’s has a long history of taking action where it really matters to the communities we serve.

“But we are at a moment now where we need to accelerate our ambition and work even harder to look after each other and the planet.

“This new Plan for Change is not just our sustainability strategy, it’s our business priority.

“That means it isn’t a plan for one change, but for many – changes that together, with 1,400 restaurants, over 130,000 people, 23,000 British and Irish farmers and four million customers visiting every day, really will add up.”

Jenny McColloch, its global chief sustainability officer, told Reuters: “We’re trying to send a signal to our partners, to our investors, to our suppliers, to other brands in the global community, to policymakers, that we share that vision.”

United Nations scientists say the world’s net emissions must fall to zero by 2050 to limit the rise in global temperatures to no more than 1.5C versus pre-industrial levels.

More than 1,000 companies have signed similar pledges. McDonald’s is one of the largest beef purchasers in the world.

Roughly 80 per cent of its total emissions come from its supply chain - in particular its use of beef, chicken, dairy and other proteins.

It will use new guidelines to focus on cutting emissions in agriculture, land use and forestry.

MP Andrew Griffith has been appointed by the Government to champion net-zero targets among British businesses.

He said: “Having an iconic brand like McDonald’s join the hundreds of businesses across the UK that have signed up to the UN’s Race to Net Zero campaign is an exciting milestone.

“I hope businesses across the UK will be inspired by their ambitious initiatives, helping us all to build back greener.”

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