A Global Corporation's Approach to Sustainability
Our staff and boys in Years 2 to 8 were delighted to welcome Mr Paul Pomroy, CEO of McDonald’s UK and Ireland, to an assembly this week. Mr Pomroy presented a fascinating insight into the work McDonald’s already does in support of sustainability to minimise the effect that this global organisation has on our environment.
We learned that:
- McDonald’s works alongside charities like Keep Britain Tidy, Keep Wales Tidy, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful to educate the population to put litter in the bin and to recycle as much as possible
- In a bid to reduce litter generated by McDonald’s restaurants, since 1982 their employees take part in daily litter- picks to collect rubbish dropped in the local area
- Recycling units are now present in over 1000 UK restaurants, making it easier for customers to recycle – and over 80% of their packaging can be recycled
- The oil from the cooked products is converted into biodiesel to fuel the company’s delivery fleet and McDonald’s food waste is used to power the plant which makes this biodiesel
- The trucks which deliver the food and packaging also take away used cooking oil, cardboard and food waste all of which is cleverly kept separate from the fresh produce, thus saving around 5000 additional trips each year
- McDonald’s continues to carefully rethink their packaging and have already replaced plastic straws with paper ones, with the ultimate goal of moving away from non-recycled polystyrene plastic to a recyclable polyethylene version which is made out of 40% recycled content
- All paper and card used for packaging comes from sustainable sources
- Having set themselves the target of zero waste sent to landfill by 2020, most of their restaurants actually reached this objective by early 2017, the general waste being send to waste-to-energy power plants which, in turn, reduces CO2 emission and the use of fossil fuels
We concluded with questions and answers from the boys, which among other things touched on animal welfare and Happy Meal toys. Mr Pomroy explained that McDonald’s is passionate about animal welfare and only uses ingredients and works with suppliers that meet their exacting standards. To this end, McDonald’s has won three Good Business Awards from the RSPCA. Mr Pomroy explained that Happy Meal toys are made out of recyclable materials and they can recycled in local authority sites where the right facilities are available; McDonald’s also offers books instead of toys at some points in the year as well as vouchers for books. Mr Pomroy stressed that McDonald’s takes its responsibility towards our planet incredibly seriously, but said that the organisation will continue with this hugely important piece of work for the benefit of our environment and future generations to come.
Next term, our Year 2 boys look forward to trips to Olleco and Arla. Arla is the company which provides all of McDonald’s organic milk, Olleco is the company which recycles McDonald’s used cooking oil and food waste to produce biodiesel, bio fertilizer for Arla’s dairy fields and bio gas which is also used by Arla to power their operations. We look forward to hearing everything the boys discover during their visits.