McDonald’s UK has found a unique way to leverage the environmental enthusiasm of its staff members – by creating Planet Champions. Through the voluntary program, staff members can become the environmental voice of their restaurant, support business managers with existing environmental initiatives, encourage and inspire colleagues, and generate new ideas to promote sustainability.
Volunteers receive training on environmental issues, what the Company is doing to address them and how the volunteers can contribute. They get involved in – and help organize – a year-round calendar of events and activities around litter, recycling and energy, and a regular newsletter keeps them up to date and enables them to share ideas.
In 2016 over 2,800 of McDonald’s employees completed the sustainability training to become or support Planet Champions. The program has helped achieve energy savings and an increase in recycling. It’s also brought external recognition, winning the Green Apple award for employee engagement and being shortlisted for the PEER awards celebrating inspirational business initiatives.
As a result of this success, the Planet Champions program has been extended to Ireland, Norway and Sweden.