Conserving Forests

Why It Matters

Forests play a vital role in creating oxygen and absorbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. People, plants and animals also rely on forests for food, fresh water, shelter and other essential resources. Yet forests and other areas of high conservation value remain under threat. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, 18 million acres of forest – an area equivalent to Ireland – are being destroyed each year.

When we fail to protect forests, climate change effects worsen, critical biodiversity is lost and livelihoods and human rights are threatened – as are the natural ecosystems that we all rely on for the food we eat. Which is why supporting deforestation-free supply chains and promoting forests as a climate solution is not just our responsibility, it’s core to our business.

 


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Why It Matters

Forests play a vital role in creating oxygen and absorbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. People, plants and animals also rely on forests for food, fresh water, shelter and other essential resources. Yet forests and other areas of high conservation value remain under threat. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, 18 million acres of forest – an area equivalent to Ireland – are being destroyed each year.

When we fail to protect forests, climate change effects worsen, critical biodiversity is lost and livelihoods and human rights are threatened – as are the natural ecosystems that we all rely on for the food we eat. Which is why supporting deforestation-free supply chains and promoting forests as a climate solution is not just our responsibility, it’s core to our business.

 


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Our Strategy

McDonald’s has been on a journey to support sustainable food production and conserve forests for more than three decades.

 

In 2015, we accelerated our efforts and announced our commitment to eliminate deforestation from our global supply chains by 2030.


We are prioritizing the sourcing of raw materials we buy in the greatest volume and where we can have the biggest impact – beef, chicken (including soy in feed), palm oil, coffee and the fiber used in guest packaging.

Our Commitment on Forests (PDF – 350kb) and its Supporting Addendum for Committment to Forests (PDF – 491kb) set out our vision to achieving our goal. The Commitment applies to all commodities and every region that we source from, and both direct and indirect suppliers.

Importantly, our commitment extends beyond forests to other areas of high conservation value, and to the people and communities around the world who depend on forests. McDonald’s is also a signatory to the New York Declaration on Forests, a shared commitment from some of the world’s most influential countries, companies and NGOs to help end deforestation by 2030.

 
McDonald’s was recognized as a “Leader” and top performing Quick Service Restaurant company in the 2019 Global Canopy Forest 500 report.


While we’re proud of the progress we’ve made, we recognize we have more work to do. We know that the underlying causes driving deforestation are complex and larger than any one company can address alone, which is why our ambition extends beyond our own supply chain.

We are committed to driving industry transformation and supporting deforestation-free supply chains at scale. For us, supporting deforestation-free supply chains is about more than preventing forest clearances, it means using our size and position to protect biodiversity, reduce our carbon footprint and respect human rights. By working in partnership with suppliers throughout our supply chain, we want to achieve the following:
 

  • No deforestation of primary forests or areas of high conservation value.
  • No development of high carbon stock forest areas.
  • No development on peatlands, regardless of depth, and the utilization of best management practices for existing commodity production on peatlands.
  • Respect human rights.
  • Respect the right of all affected communities to give or withhold their free, prior and informed consent for plantation developments on land they own legally, communally or by custom.
  • Resolve land rights disputes through a balanced and transparent dispute resolution process.
  • Verify origin of raw material production.
  • Support smallholders, farmers, plantation owners and suppliers to comply with this commitment.

 

Measuring and Reporting Progress

McDonald’s is committed to transparently and regularly reporting our progress toward our sustainability and sourcing goals, including our Commitment on Forests.

In addition to annual progress updates shared here, we report annually through CDP Forests. In 2017, we were one of the first major companies to join the CDP Supply Chain Forests group, alongside one of our largest Franchisees, Arcos Dorados in Latin America. Through this engagement, we’ve provided CDP with important information on how we are working with our suppliers to manage risks linked to deforestation.

We recognize the challenges related to how companies report progress toward their deforestation commitments and targets, with efforts ongoing to standardize reporting practices. To ensure we are reporting clearly and consistently against our commitments, we work with expert partners and align our definitions with recognized frameworks such as the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi). McDonald’s commitments and expectations are set based on the definitions of deforestation set out below:

  • “Eliminate Deforestation” refers to McDonald’s global pledge to tackle deforestation, and all of the social and environmental criteria in our Commitment on Forests in our agricultural and forestry supply chains. In alignment with the definitions of AFi, we use the term “supporting deforestation-free supply chains” below to more accurately reflect the actions we are taking to implement, measure and report progress toward our Commitment on Forests.

  • “Deforestation” refers to the loss of natural forest as a result of: i) conversion to agriculture or other non-forest land use; ii) conversion to a plantation forest; or iii) severe and sustained degradation as aligned with the definitions of AFi.

  • “High-deforestation priority regions” are defined as countries, biomes, municipalities, postcodes or farms/plantations that are under threat of deforestation as determined through regular assessments with WWF. McDonald’s partnered with WWF and its Global Forest and Trade Network to assess its potential impact on deforestation in its priority supply chains. This assessment paired McDonald’s supply chain data with that of the 11 world regions accounting for the majority of deforestation so that McDonald’s could take action to drive the greatest positive impact.

  • “Low-deforestation priority regions” refers to countries, biomes, municipalities, postcodes or farms/plantations that are classified as no or low risk of deforestation as determined through regular assessments with WWF that rely on the latest supply chain data and trends. McDonald’s works with WWF to assess this risk annually.

  • “Supporting deforestation-free supply chains” refers to commodities in our supply chains that are either sourced sustainably from high-deforestation priority regions and comply with the certification or verification schemes as set out below; or are traced back to low-deforestation priority regions as above.


Additionally, we know that each commodity is different and requires a tailored approach. For each one, in order to be classed as supporting deforestation-free supply chains, we require the following:
 

  • Beef – Beef volumes that are traced back to low-deforestation priority regions or are externally verified by Agrotools, a Brazilian ag-tech company and certified B Corp that provides advanced monitoring technology, to meet the McDonald’s Deforestation-Free Beef Procurement Policy.

  • Chicken (including soy in feed) – Soy volumes that are either traced back to low-deforestation priority regions or comply with the certification requirements of either ProTerra or Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) certification standards; or via RTRS Credits purchased in lieu of physical supply of soy products. Soy produced in the Amazon biome meeting the Amazon Soy Moratorium requirements is also recognized as compliant when suppliers can provide proof of traceability and assurance.

  • Palm oil – Palm oil sourced for McDonald’s restaurants or as ingredients in McDonald’s products supports the production of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) sustainable oil palm products. All countries are considered high-deforestation priority regions for palm oil and therefore all volumes are required to be covered by RSPO certification or credits. McDonald’s encourages physical segregation in its supply chain where possible (Identity Preserved, Segregated or Mass Balance). For more information, visit the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

  • Coffee – Coffee that is traced back to low-deforestation priority regions or sourced as Rainforest Alliance Certified™ or UTZ certified. Further to the Rainforest Alliance’s activation of a program of mutual recognition between the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ coffee certification programs, McDonald’s will consider both Rainforest Alliance certified coffee and UTZ certified coffee as equally meeting the sourcing requirements from high-deforestation priority regions, in accordance with the program rules and guidelines.

  • Fiber – Wood fiber supply chains that are traced back to low-deforestation priority regions or to Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Certified or FSC Controlled Wood sources mills with full chain of custody certification.

 

Our Commitment on Forests Priority Commodities

Volumes Supporting Deforestation-Free Supply Chains,* 2019

Our Strategy

McDonald’s has been on a journey to support sustainable food production and conserve forests for more than three decades.

 

In 2015, we accelerated our efforts and announced our commitment to eliminate deforestation from our global supply chains by 2030.


We are prioritizing the sourcing of raw materials we buy in the greatest volume and where we can have the biggest impact – beef, chicken (including soy in feed), palm oil, coffee and the fiber used in guest packaging.

Our Commitment on Forests (PDF – 350kb) and its Supporting Addendum for Committment to Forests (PDF – 491kb) set out our vision to achieving our goal. The Commitment applies to all commodities and every region that we source from, and both direct and indirect suppliers.

Importantly, our commitment extends beyond forests to other areas of high conservation value, and to the people and communities around the world who depend on forests. McDonald’s is also a signatory to the New York Declaration on Forests, a shared commitment from some of the world’s most influential countries, companies and NGOs to help end deforestation by 2030.

 
McDonald’s was recognized as a “Leader” and top performing Quick Service Restaurant company in the 2019 Global Canopy Forest 500 report.


While we’re proud of the progress we’ve made, we recognize we have more work to do. We know that the underlying causes driving deforestation are complex and larger than any one company can address alone, which is why our ambition extends beyond our own supply chain.

We are committed to driving industry transformation and supporting deforestation-free supply chains at scale. For us, supporting deforestation-free supply chains is about more than preventing forest clearances, it means using our size and position to protect biodiversity, reduce our carbon footprint and respect human rights. By working in partnership with suppliers throughout our supply chain, we want to achieve the following:
 

  • No deforestation of primary forests or areas of high conservation value.
  • No development of high carbon stock forest areas.
  • No development on peatlands, regardless of depth, and the utilization of best management practices for existing commodity production on peatlands.
  • Respect human rights.
  • Respect the right of all affected communities to give or withhold their free, prior and informed consent for plantation developments on land they own legally, communally or by custom.
  • Resolve land rights disputes through a balanced and transparent dispute resolution process.
  • Verify origin of raw material production.
  • Support smallholders, farmers, plantation owners and suppliers to comply with this commitment.

 

Measuring and Reporting Progress

McDonald’s is committed to transparently and regularly reporting our progress toward our sustainability and sourcing goals, including our Commitment on Forests.

In addition to annual progress updates shared here, we report annually through CDP Forests. In 2017, we were one of the first major companies to join the CDP Supply Chain Forests group, alongside one of our largest Franchisees, Arcos Dorados in Latin America. Through this engagement, we’ve provided CDP with important information on how we are working with our suppliers to manage risks linked to deforestation.

We recognize the challenges related to how companies report progress toward their deforestation commitments and targets, with efforts ongoing to standardize reporting practices. To ensure we are reporting clearly and consistently against our commitments, we work with expert partners and align our definitions with recognized frameworks such as the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi). McDonald’s commitments and expectations are set based on the definitions of deforestation set out below:

  • “Eliminate Deforestation” refers to McDonald’s global pledge to tackle deforestation, and all of the social and environmental criteria in our Commitment on Forests in our agricultural and forestry supply chains. In alignment with the definitions of AFi, we use the term “supporting deforestation-free supply chains” below to more accurately reflect the actions we are taking to implement, measure and report progress toward our Commitment on Forests.

  • “Deforestation” refers to the loss of natural forest as a result of: i) conversion to agriculture or other non-forest land use; ii) conversion to a plantation forest; or iii) severe and sustained degradation as aligned with the definitions of AFi.

  • “High-deforestation priority regions” are defined as countries, biomes, municipalities, postcodes or farms/plantations that are under threat of deforestation as determined through regular assessments with WWF. McDonald’s partnered with WWF and its Global Forest and Trade Network to assess its potential impact on deforestation in its priority supply chains. This assessment paired McDonald’s supply chain data with that of the 11 world regions accounting for the majority of deforestation so that McDonald’s could take action to drive the greatest positive impact.

  • “Low-deforestation priority regions” refers to countries, biomes, municipalities, postcodes or farms/plantations that are classified as no or low risk of deforestation as determined through regular assessments with WWF that rely on the latest supply chain data and trends. McDonald’s works with WWF to assess this risk annually.

  • “Supporting deforestation-free supply chains” refers to commodities in our supply chains that are either sourced sustainably from high-deforestation priority regions and comply with the certification or verification schemes as set out below; or are traced back to low-deforestation priority regions as above.


Additionally, we know that each commodity is different and requires a tailored approach. For each one, in order to be classed as supporting deforestation-free supply chains, we require the following:
 

  • Beef – Beef volumes that are traced back to low-deforestation priority regions or are externally verified by Agrotools, a Brazilian ag-tech company and certified B Corp that provides advanced monitoring technology, to meet the McDonald’s Deforestation-Free Beef Procurement Policy.

  • Chicken (including soy in feed) – Soy volumes that are either traced back to low-deforestation priority regions or comply with the certification requirements of either ProTerra or Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS) certification standards; or via RTRS Credits purchased in lieu of physical supply of soy products. Soy produced in the Amazon biome meeting the Amazon Soy Moratorium requirements is also recognized as compliant when suppliers can provide proof of traceability and assurance.

  • Palm oil – Palm oil sourced for McDonald’s restaurants or as ingredients in McDonald’s products supports the production of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) sustainable oil palm products. All countries are considered high-deforestation priority regions for palm oil and therefore all volumes are required to be covered by RSPO certification or credits. McDonald’s encourages physical segregation in its supply chain where possible (Identity Preserved, Segregated or Mass Balance). For more information, visit the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

  • Coffee – Coffee that is traced back to low-deforestation priority regions or sourced as Rainforest Alliance Certified™ or UTZ certified. Further to the Rainforest Alliance’s activation of a program of mutual recognition between the Rainforest Alliance and UTZ coffee certification programs, McDonald’s will consider both Rainforest Alliance certified coffee and UTZ certified coffee as equally meeting the sourcing requirements from high-deforestation priority regions, in accordance with the program rules and guidelines.

  • Fiber – Wood fiber supply chains that are traced back to low-deforestation priority regions or to Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) Certified or FSC Controlled Wood sources mills with full chain of custody certification.

 

Our Commitment on Forests Priority Commodities

Volumes Supporting Deforestation-Free Supply Chains,* 2019
Infographic showing total volume supporting deforestation-free supply chains: Beef 92%, Soy 71%, Palm oil 100%, Coffee 96%, Fiber 93%; Volume sourced sustainably from high-deforestation priority regions, verified compliant: Beef 4%, Soy 50%, Palm oil 100%, Coffee 5%, Fiber 19%; Volume traced to low- deforestation priority regions: Beef 88%, Soy 21%, Palm oil 0%, Coffee 91%, Fiber 74%; Not yet compliant: Beef 8%, Soy 29%, Palm oil 0%, Coffee 4%, Fiber 7%. Footnote – “Supporting deforestation-free supply chains” refers to commodities in our supply chains that are either traced back to low-deforestation priority regions, or sourced sustainability from high-deforestation priority regions and comply with the certification or verification schemes as defined on the McDonald’s Conserving Forests web page.
Infographic showing total volume supporting deforestation-free supply chains: Beef 92%, Soy 71%, Palm oil 100%, Coffee 96%, Fiber 93%; Volume sourced sustainably from high-deforestation priority regions, verified compliant: Beef 4%, Soy 50%, Palm oil 100%, Coffee 5%, Fiber 19%; Volume traced to low- deforestation priority regions: Beef 88%, Soy 21%, Palm oil 0%, Coffee 91%, Fiber 74%; Not yet compliant: Beef 8%, Soy 29%, Palm oil 0%, Coffee 4%, Fiber 7%. Footnote – “Supporting deforestation-free supply chains” refers to commodities in our supply chains that are either traced back to low-deforestation priority regions, or sourced sustainability from high-deforestation priority regions and comply with the certification or verification schemes as defined on the McDonald’s Conserving Forests web page.

Download Volumes Supporting Deforestation-Free Supply Chains Graphic (PDF – 50kb)

 

Learn more about Our Performance below.

Since 2017, McDonald’s has been collaborating with Proforest, a not-for-profit organization focused on responsible production and sourcing, and other key partners to develop a comprehensive framework to report on our commitments to conserve forests. Our work with Proforest aims to develop criteria, definitions and protocols for our sourcing activities, as well as implementing a strategy for engaging with our suppliers and monitoring and supporting their continuous improvement.

 

Prioritizing Action and Engaging Our Supply Chain

An important step in our journey was to understand exactly where our commodities were at risk, and where we could take action to drive the greatest positive impact. We partnered with the WWF and our suppliers to identify product origins and assess the risk of deforestation across these five priority commodity supply chains. This assessment helped us determine priority geographies by pairing McDonald’s supply chain data with that of the 11 world regions accounting for the majority of deforestation, based on WWF’s Living Forests Report


Our Commitment on Forests Priority Regions

Download Volumes Supporting Deforestation-Free Supply Chains Graphic (PDF – 50kb)

 

Learn more about Our Performance below.

Since 2017, McDonald’s has been collaborating with Proforest, a not-for-profit organization focused on responsible production and sourcing, and other key partners to develop a comprehensive framework to report on our commitments to conserve forests. Our work with Proforest aims to develop criteria, definitions and protocols for our sourcing activities, as well as implementing a strategy for engaging with our suppliers and monitoring and supporting their continuous improvement.

 

Prioritizing Action and Engaging Our Supply Chain

An important step in our journey was to understand exactly where our commodities were at risk, and where we could take action to drive the greatest positive impact. We partnered with the WWF and our suppliers to identify product origins and assess the risk of deforestation across these five priority commodity supply chains. This assessment helped us determine priority geographies by pairing McDonald’s supply chain data with that of the 11 world regions accounting for the majority of deforestation, based on WWF’s Living Forests Report


Our Commitment on Forests Priority Regions

Infographic of Our Commitment on Forest priority regions. Beef: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Australia; Soy: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay; Palm oil: Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea; Coffee: Honduras, Vietnam, Indonesia; Fiber: Argentina, Russia, China, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia. Footnote – Priority biome/region: Paraguay: The Chaco in Argentina and Paraguay; Brazil: The Amazon and Cerrado in Brazil; Australia: Queensland in Australia.
Infographic of Our Commitment on Forest priority regions. Beef: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Australia; Soy: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay; Palm oil: Guatemala, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea; Coffee: Honduras, Vietnam, Indonesia; Fiber: Argentina, Russia, China, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia. Footnote – Priority biome/region: Paraguay: The Chaco in Argentina and Paraguay; Brazil: The Amazon and Cerrado in Brazil; Australia: Queensland in Australia.

Download Our Commitment on Forests Priority Regions Graphic (PDF – 167kb)


To verify compliance and drive continuous improvement, we require internal and external audits for our direct suppliers. As referenced above, we also depend on reputable commodity-specific certifications for assurance of our soy, palm oil, coffee and fiber. Where suitable certifications do not exist for our priority products, as in our beef supply chain, we invest in second-party verification systems.

As a minimum standard, we require our direct suppliers to comply with our Commitment on Forests. These expectations are verified externally via accredited organizations or embedded in third-party certification standards and auditing systems. Where noncompliance is identified, we engage with our direct suppliers to ensure they implement tailored corrective action plans to bring them back into compliance. We also require our direct suppliers to do the same with their own suppliers.


Where we have identified a high-priority region or farm, we require our suppliers to put plans in place to mitigate risks and ensure compliance with our Commitment on Forests, and report on their progress and compliance annually.
 


As a global supplier to McDonald’s, Tyson Foods began addressing deforestation risk in our supply chain to support McDonald’s Commitment on Forests and to comply with requirements contained within the Global Sustainable Sourcing Guide (GSSG). McDonald’s diligent engagement to make a difference across its supply chain inspired a call to action. Our collective work to develop a method for estimating the embedded soy footprint of animal-based products and our field work to identify regions at risk for beef-related deforestation in Australia resulted in a meaningful collaboration to better our understanding of the landscape of forest issues.
John Randal Tyson, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tyson Foods, Inc.


Many of our suppliers are signatories to the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) and we rely on our trusted and collaborative supplier relationships to deliver on our 2020 and 2030 forest commitments. We know that the policies and expectations that McDonald’s sets, and the commitments and programs that our suppliers create, are watched closely, and we are encouraged by this because we know that no company can tackle deforestation on its own.

 

We applaud McDonald’s legacy as a leader in sustainable supply chains. It’s a privilege to work together to bring new solutions to life that advance our shared vision of a responsible, sustainable food system. Cargill works with farmers on the ground to implement sustainable agricultural practices and to protect forests and native vegetation. To advance McDonald’s commitments, we’ve worked together to map key forest commodity supply chains and develop a soy footprint calculator. McDonald’s and Cargill both are committed to eliminating deforestation and, together, we will combine our scale to protect the planet and enhance communities.
Jill Kolling, Global Sustainability Leader, Cargill
 

Developing Transformative and Locally Tailored Approaches

We recognize that each commodity supply chain is different and production practices vary depending on the local context. That’s why it’s critical we work with suppliers and expert partners to develop tailored solutions, strategies and definitions that are practical and effective and can be replicated and adopted by other companies.

McDonald’s is engaged in forums driving transformational change beyond our supply chain and works collaboratively with suppliers, governments, NGOs and expert partners to create solutions, bring attention to forests and help drive action toward our goals. For example, we aim to drive transformative practices by testing cutting-edge technology, such as satellite mapping, and utilizing industry-standard definitions from the AFi to define our work.


McDonald’s is proud to support the group of NGOs that make up the Accountability Framework as they work to create common definitions and guidance for establishing, implementing and demonstrating progress on ethical supply chain commitments in agriculture and forestry.


We have incorporated the Framework’s guidance into raw material specifications for beef, while providing feedback on the practical application of this important set of guidance. Additionally, in alignment with the Framework’s reporting expectations, McDonald’s believes it critical that companies adopt a more transparent and consistent approach to tracking progress, clarifying what progress has been made at various stages of the implementation journey, as well as identifying the challenges that remain.

We also partner with the Collaboration on Forests and Agriculture (CFA), whose focus on beef and soy in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado, and in the Gran Chaco in Argentina and Paraguay aligns closely with our own sourcing regions and products. Alongside our Latin American Franchisee Arcos Dorados, we provide continuous feedback to the CFA’s framework and support solutions that help protect forests and native vegetation in the Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco. In 2020, we conducted a gap analysis against CFA’s operational guidance. The Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA), and its Latin America Working Group, is another critical partnership that enables us to develop and implement locally tailored approaches.

We are also engaged with the Good Growth Partnership, a collaboration between the UN Development Program, the Global Environment Facility, the International Finance Cooperation, WWF and Conservation International, and are leveraging their tools to support the implementation of our Commitment on Forests.



It is very exciting to see McDonald’s supporting greater transparency on progress across the whole production base, allowing actions to be targeted where they are most needed to drive sectoral improvement.
Dr. Ruth Nussbaum, Co-founder and Director, Proforest


We are pleased that, as of 2020, CDP Forests is fully aligned with the Accountability Framework. As a result of this alignment, CDP disclosure now enables companies to report on their level of alignment with the Framework’s Core Principles. Supporting this integration will strengthen our reporting and transparency moving forward.

 

Taking the Lead on Supporting Deforestation-Free Beef

As one of the world’s biggest buyers of beef, we know the potential for positive impact in the beef supply chain is significant.

 

The beef supply chain presents an opportunity that McDonald’s is uniquely positioned to address – unlike other major commodities, there was no established certification scheme or credible process to guide companies’ efforts to eliminate deforestation. So, we got to work.


In 2013, we started working with Agrotools to track the origin of all the beef exported from Brazil and sold in McDonald’s restaurants around the world. We then developed a strategy in partnership with Proforest in 2017 to define deforestation risk across the vast landscape of the Cerrado, prioritize specific locations, and assess whether deforestation and non-compliance with the additional social and environmental aspects of our Commitment on Forests were actually happening at the farm level.

This process enabled us to better monitor our beef supply chain and help our suppliers take targeted action. During this process, we also aligned closely with NGOs like WWF and tested emerging frameworks from groups like the Accountability Framework initiative. We have since expanded this project to include beef supplied from other priority regions: Argentina, Australia and Paraguay.

McDonald’s is also a founding member of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), and since 2011, has worked closely with industry leaders to bring together stakeholders from across the supply chain to drive collaboration and action around beef sustainability – which includes the conservation of forests. To support the delivery of the GRSB Principles and Criteria on the ground, McDonald’s has helped set up and/or participates in national and regional multi-stakeholder roundtables in several countries, including Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.


In addition, we are active on the GRSB’s Joint Working Group on Land Use Change, made up of suppliers, producers, finance institutions and partners from civil society. This group is developing outcome-based goals with the aim of setting industry-aligned land use change targets.

Our leadership in beef was also driven by the recognition that beef and soy supply chains are interconnected, as soy production has the potential to expand into existing degraded pasture land instead of newly deforested land. As part of our overall beef sustainability strategy, we support a focus on intensification, which will allow for soy expansion into existing pasture land. In this way, we’re maximizing our impact and addressing deforestation for both beef and soy by reducing pressure on forests from the expansion of agriculture.

 

Our Approach to Our Beef Supply Chain

1. Policy Development And Adaption

The McDonald’s Deforestation-Free Beef Procurement Policy was developed to help implement the McDonald’s Commitment on Forests in our beef supply chain in line with the McDonald’s global sustainability strategy. This Policy applies to priority countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil and Paraguay) where deforestation has taken place and/or is projected to take place. Since each priority country has a distinct context, Proforest and Agrotools have helped us adapt the Policy for each country.

2. Risk Analysis At The Territory Level

Risk analysis helps us prioritize and direct our efforts. We divide our main beef sourcing regions into a smaller set of locations and use Agrotools’ TerraSafe analysis tool to develop a risk score for each. The tool uses a range of data sources to assess risk, such as using the local definition of forests, and maps of peatlands, environmental hotspots, and other social and environmental aspects relevant in each location.

3. Slaughterhouse Engagement

We engage with slaughterhouses, prioritizing those with the greatest levels of supply to the McDonald’s System and the level of risk, based on their location. Facilities must identify each farm that supplies them, and we identify priority farms using the Agrotools location score.

4. Farm Assessments

A farm’s location may make it a priority, but that does not mean deforestation is happening. Agrotools runs a farm level assessment, using satellite imagery of the farm area along with data analysis, to determine whether the farms comply with our deforestation-free beef policy. Suppliers are expected to mitigate risk and implement corrective action plans with any farms in their supply chain that are not in compliance.

This level of detail has given us confidence in the changes that are being made in our priority beef regions and allows us to continue to monitor our non-priority areas as well. It also means we can monitor and assess practices at scale and share our learnings with others.

Download our Forest and Native Vegetation Priority Maps (PDF – 3mb).

Download Our Commitment on Forests Priority Regions Graphic (PDF – 167kb)


To verify compliance and drive continuous improvement, we require internal and external audits for our direct suppliers. As referenced above, we also depend on reputable commodity-specific certifications for assurance of our soy, palm oil, coffee and fiber. Where suitable certifications do not exist for our priority products, as in our beef supply chain, we invest in second-party verification systems.

As a minimum standard, we require our direct suppliers to comply with our Commitment on Forests. These expectations are verified externally via accredited organizations or embedded in third-party certification standards and auditing systems. Where noncompliance is identified, we engage with our direct suppliers to ensure they implement tailored corrective action plans to bring them back into compliance. We also require our direct suppliers to do the same with their own suppliers.


Where we have identified a high-priority region or farm, we require our suppliers to put plans in place to mitigate risks and ensure compliance with our Commitment on Forests, and report on their progress and compliance annually.
 


As a global supplier to McDonald’s, Tyson Foods began addressing deforestation risk in our supply chain to support McDonald’s Commitment on Forests and to comply with requirements contained within the Global Sustainable Sourcing Guide (GSSG). McDonald’s diligent engagement to make a difference across its supply chain inspired a call to action. Our collective work to develop a method for estimating the embedded soy footprint of animal-based products and our field work to identify regions at risk for beef-related deforestation in Australia resulted in a meaningful collaboration to better our understanding of the landscape of forest issues.
John Randal Tyson, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tyson Foods, Inc.


Many of our suppliers are signatories to the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) and we rely on our trusted and collaborative supplier relationships to deliver on our 2020 and 2030 forest commitments. We know that the policies and expectations that McDonald’s sets, and the commitments and programs that our suppliers create, are watched closely, and we are encouraged by this because we know that no company can tackle deforestation on its own.

 

We applaud McDonald’s legacy as a leader in sustainable supply chains. It’s a privilege to work together to bring new solutions to life that advance our shared vision of a responsible, sustainable food system. Cargill works with farmers on the ground to implement sustainable agricultural practices and to protect forests and native vegetation. To advance McDonald’s commitments, we’ve worked together to map key forest commodity supply chains and develop a soy footprint calculator. McDonald’s and Cargill both are committed to eliminating deforestation and, together, we will combine our scale to protect the planet and enhance communities.
Jill Kolling, Global Sustainability Leader, Cargill
 

Developing Transformative and Locally Tailored Approaches

We recognize that each commodity supply chain is different and production practices vary depending on the local context. That’s why it’s critical we work with suppliers and expert partners to develop tailored solutions, strategies and definitions that are practical and effective and can be replicated and adopted by other companies.

McDonald’s is engaged in forums driving transformational change beyond our supply chain and works collaboratively with suppliers, governments, NGOs and expert partners to create solutions, bring attention to forests and help drive action toward our goals. For example, we aim to drive transformative practices by testing cutting-edge technology, such as satellite mapping, and utilizing industry-standard definitions from the AFi to define our work.


McDonald’s is proud to support the group of NGOs that make up the Accountability Framework as they work to create common definitions and guidance for establishing, implementing and demonstrating progress on ethical supply chain commitments in agriculture and forestry.


We have incorporated the Framework’s guidance into raw material specifications for beef, while providing feedback on the practical application of this important set of guidance. Additionally, in alignment with the Framework’s reporting expectations, McDonald’s believes it critical that companies adopt a more transparent and consistent approach to tracking progress, clarifying what progress has been made at various stages of the implementation journey, as well as identifying the challenges that remain.

We also partner with the Collaboration on Forests and Agriculture (CFA), whose focus on beef and soy in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado, and in the Gran Chaco in Argentina and Paraguay aligns closely with our own sourcing regions and products. Alongside our Latin American Franchisee Arcos Dorados, we provide continuous feedback to the CFA’s framework and support solutions that help protect forests and native vegetation in the Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco. In 2020, we conducted a gap analysis against CFA’s operational guidance. The Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA), and its Latin America Working Group, is another critical partnership that enables us to develop and implement locally tailored approaches.

We are also engaged with the Good Growth Partnership, a collaboration between the UN Development Program, the Global Environment Facility, the International Finance Cooperation, WWF and Conservation International, and are leveraging their tools to support the implementation of our Commitment on Forests.



It is very exciting to see McDonald’s supporting greater transparency on progress across the whole production base, allowing actions to be targeted where they are most needed to drive sectoral improvement.
Dr. Ruth Nussbaum, Co-founder and Director, Proforest


We are pleased that, as of 2020, CDP Forests is fully aligned with the Accountability Framework. As a result of this alignment, CDP disclosure now enables companies to report on their level of alignment with the Framework’s Core Principles. Supporting this integration will strengthen our reporting and transparency moving forward.

 

Taking the Lead on Supporting Deforestation-Free Beef

As one of the world’s biggest buyers of beef, we know the potential for positive impact in the beef supply chain is significant.

 

The beef supply chain presents an opportunity that McDonald’s is uniquely positioned to address – unlike other major commodities, there was no established certification scheme or credible process to guide companies’ efforts to eliminate deforestation. So, we got to work.


In 2013, we started working with Agrotools to track the origin of all the beef exported from Brazil and sold in McDonald’s restaurants around the world. We then developed a strategy in partnership with Proforest in 2017 to define deforestation risk across the vast landscape of the Cerrado, prioritize specific locations, and assess whether deforestation and non-compliance with the additional social and environmental aspects of our Commitment on Forests were actually happening at the farm level.

This process enabled us to better monitor our beef supply chain and help our suppliers take targeted action. During this process, we also aligned closely with NGOs like WWF and tested emerging frameworks from groups like the Accountability Framework initiative. We have since expanded this project to include beef supplied from other priority regions: Argentina, Australia and Paraguay.

McDonald’s is also a founding member of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), and since 2011, has worked closely with industry leaders to bring together stakeholders from across the supply chain to drive collaboration and action around beef sustainability – which includes the conservation of forests. To support the delivery of the GRSB Principles and Criteria on the ground, McDonald’s has helped set up and/or participates in national and regional multi-stakeholder roundtables in several countries, including Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.


In addition, we are active on the GRSB’s Joint Working Group on Land Use Change, made up of suppliers, producers, finance institutions and partners from civil society. This group is developing outcome-based goals with the aim of setting industry-aligned land use change targets.

Our leadership in beef was also driven by the recognition that beef and soy supply chains are interconnected, as soy production has the potential to expand into existing degraded pasture land instead of newly deforested land. As part of our overall beef sustainability strategy, we support a focus on intensification, which will allow for soy expansion into existing pasture land. In this way, we’re maximizing our impact and addressing deforestation for both beef and soy by reducing pressure on forests from the expansion of agriculture.

 

Our Approach to Our Beef Supply Chain

1. Policy Development And Adaption

The McDonald’s Deforestation-Free Beef Procurement Policy was developed to help implement the McDonald’s Commitment on Forests in our beef supply chain in line with the McDonald’s global sustainability strategy. This Policy applies to priority countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil and Paraguay) where deforestation has taken place and/or is projected to take place. Since each priority country has a distinct context, Proforest and Agrotools have helped us adapt the Policy for each country.

2. Risk Analysis At The Territory Level

Risk analysis helps us prioritize and direct our efforts. We divide our main beef sourcing regions into a smaller set of locations and use Agrotools’ TerraSafe analysis tool to develop a risk score for each. The tool uses a range of data sources to assess risk, such as using the local definition of forests, and maps of peatlands, environmental hotspots, and other social and environmental aspects relevant in each location.

3. Slaughterhouse Engagement

We engage with slaughterhouses, prioritizing those with the greatest levels of supply to the McDonald’s System and the level of risk, based on their location. Facilities must identify each farm that supplies them, and we identify priority farms using the Agrotools location score.

4. Farm Assessments

A farm’s location may make it a priority, but that does not mean deforestation is happening. Agrotools runs a farm level assessment, using satellite imagery of the farm area along with data analysis, to determine whether the farms comply with our deforestation-free beef policy. Suppliers are expected to mitigate risk and implement corrective action plans with any farms in their supply chain that are not in compliance.

This level of detail has given us confidence in the changes that are being made in our priority beef regions and allows us to continue to monitor our non-priority areas as well. It also means we can monitor and assess practices at scale and share our learnings with others.

Download our Forest and Native Vegetation Priority Maps (PDF – 3mb).

Confronting Challenges and the Journey Ahead

McDonald’s has been on this journey for some time and we have already made significant progress toward our commitments. Today, supported by transparent, credible data and external verification, we see significant progress toward our goal of eliminating deforestation. However, there is always more to do. Some of the challenges and future opportunities we are working to address include:


A Lack of Consistent Definitions Across the Industry

While a robust commitment to eliminating deforestation from our supply chains is a key part of our strategy, we acknowledge that all organizations, including McDonald’s, face challenges from a lack of common understanding on how to define forests and deforestation.

Organizations such as the AFi and CFA have worked to create common definitions, and we need these to be adopted widely to ensure everyone is working toward similar goals and using comparable reporting.

 

Forests as a Climate Solution

We know that corporate accounting and disclosure of GHG emissions from deforestation is a major challenge, and that reporting expectations on these emissions will continue to evolve. We are committed to transparency and strengthening our reporting to help demonstrate how we are managing risks associated with deforestation. But we recognize that we have more work to do to ensure our policies and implementation plan for eliminating deforestation from our supply chains are built into our overall climate action strategy.

Our climate reduction targets include estimated impacts from land use change, and our climate impact tracking system is capable of modeling emissions from land use change such as deforestation for cropland. To demonstrate the positive impact that our Commitment on Forests has had, we are working to bring together our forests and climate measurement system to improve the way we measure the climate impact of forest conservation in our supply chain.

We are also conducting climate scenario modeling and are in the process of adopting the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to help our Company, Franchisees and suppliers understand the impacts of climate change on our business – including deforestation – and advance our climate mitigation and resilience strategies.

 

Traceability

We know that our complete supply chain emissions disclosure, including deforestation emissions, relies upon increased traceability. We have achieved significant milestones, especially in our beef supply chain, by mapping soy sourced for animal feed with real data from our Soy Calculator, which you can learn more about below. Key opportunities for improving traceability include engaging with indirect suppliers, auctions and feedlots for beef and continuing to expand soy traceability. We plan to expand this work to other commodities beyond 2020.

 

Biodiversity Loss and Zoonotic Disease Risk

The COVID-19 pandemic has given much greater exposure to the risks posed to global public health by zoonotic diseases – diseases that pass from animals to humans. There is evidence to suggest that causes of biodiversity loss and climate change such as land use change and deforestation are potentially increasing the risk of similar pandemics occurring in the future. This gives us an added reason to continue our work to protect biodiversity, to help protect our health in the future.

 

Seeing Deforestation as a Human Rights Issue

Deforestation-free supply chains are not only about preventing forest clearances – they also address social and human rights issues. Human rights are an important element of our forests commitments and our broad Company commitments, and we are constantly seeking to strengthen our implementation of these.

In 2020, we worked with Proforest to develop a gap analysis of our approach to address human rights in our priority supply chains. Building on insights from this analysis, we are continuing to work with Proforest to ensure robust mechanisms that embed respect for human rights in the production of our priority commodities.

Despite the challenges we face, we remain committed to the elimination of deforestation from our global supply chains by 2030.

 

Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals

Our work on protecting forests supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a global agenda to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all, in particular:

Confronting Challenges and the Journey Ahead

McDonald’s has been on this journey for some time and we have already made significant progress toward our commitments. Today, supported by transparent, credible data and external verification, we see significant progress toward our goal of eliminating deforestation. However, there is always more to do. Some of the challenges and future opportunities we are working to address include:


A Lack of Consistent Definitions Across the Industry

While a robust commitment to eliminating deforestation from our supply chains is a key part of our strategy, we acknowledge that all organizations, including McDonald’s, face challenges from a lack of common understanding on how to define forests and deforestation.

Organizations such as the AFi and CFA have worked to create common definitions, and we need these to be adopted widely to ensure everyone is working toward similar goals and using comparable reporting.

 

Forests as a Climate Solution

We know that corporate accounting and disclosure of GHG emissions from deforestation is a major challenge, and that reporting expectations on these emissions will continue to evolve. We are committed to transparency and strengthening our reporting to help demonstrate how we are managing risks associated with deforestation. But we recognize that we have more work to do to ensure our policies and implementation plan for eliminating deforestation from our supply chains are built into our overall climate action strategy.

Our climate reduction targets include estimated impacts from land use change, and our climate impact tracking system is capable of modeling emissions from land use change such as deforestation for cropland. To demonstrate the positive impact that our Commitment on Forests has had, we are working to bring together our forests and climate measurement system to improve the way we measure the climate impact of forest conservation in our supply chain.

We are also conducting climate scenario modeling and are in the process of adopting the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to help our Company, Franchisees and suppliers understand the impacts of climate change on our business – including deforestation – and advance our climate mitigation and resilience strategies.

 

Traceability

We know that our complete supply chain emissions disclosure, including deforestation emissions, relies upon increased traceability. We have achieved significant milestones, especially in our beef supply chain, by mapping soy sourced for animal feed with real data from our Soy Calculator, which you can learn more about below. Key opportunities for improving traceability include engaging with indirect suppliers, auctions and feedlots for beef and continuing to expand soy traceability. We plan to expand this work to other commodities beyond 2020.

 

Biodiversity Loss and Zoonotic Disease Risk

The COVID-19 pandemic has given much greater exposure to the risks posed to global public health by zoonotic diseases – diseases that pass from animals to humans. There is evidence to suggest that causes of biodiversity loss and climate change such as land use change and deforestation are potentially increasing the risk of similar pandemics occurring in the future. This gives us an added reason to continue our work to protect biodiversity, to help protect our health in the future.

 

Seeing Deforestation as a Human Rights Issue

Deforestation-free supply chains are not only about preventing forest clearances – they also address social and human rights issues. Human rights are an important element of our forests commitments and our broad Company commitments, and we are constantly seeking to strengthen our implementation of these.

In 2020, we worked with Proforest to develop a gap analysis of our approach to address human rights in our priority supply chains. Building on insights from this analysis, we are continuing to work with Proforest to ensure robust mechanisms that embed respect for human rights in the production of our priority commodities.

Despite the challenges we face, we remain committed to the elimination of deforestation from our global supply chains by 2030.

 

Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals

Our work on protecting forests supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a global agenda to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all, in particular:

Our Actions
  

Showcasing Farmers That Support Jaguar Habitats

One of the ways McDonald’s has expanded its work beyond our initial forest commitment is to engage in efforts to halt conversion in non-forest ecosystems that host critical biodiversity, including grasslands and savannahs. In Brazil, we are doing this in partnership with one of our flagship farmers, Caio Penido.

Caio is a McDonald’s supplier and a leading agricultural voice in the effort to protect Brazil’s threatened ecosystems. His farm – Agua Viva – spans both the Amazon and Cerrado biomes, so he is maintaining a legal reserve and has begun reforestation efforts in other key areas of his land. Through these efforts, Caio has seen the return of crucial flora and fauna, including the jaguar. The presence of an apex predator such as the jaguar indicates a robust and thriving ecosystem. Agua Viva has been recognized with the Certificado Onça-Pintada, or Jaguar Friendly Ranch Certification, by the Instituto Onça-Pintada for accomplishments related to protecting this threatened species.

By exemplifying actions and conduct that allow for the coexistence of cattle production and the jaguar, Caio and other landowners are taking a leadership role in decisions that will help determine the jaguar’s existence for future generations.

Our Actions
  

Showcasing Farmers That Support Jaguar Habitats

One of the ways McDonald’s has expanded its work beyond our initial forest commitment is to engage in efforts to halt conversion in non-forest ecosystems that host critical biodiversity, including grasslands and savannahs. In Brazil, we are doing this in partnership with one of our flagship farmers, Caio Penido.

Caio is a McDonald’s supplier and a leading agricultural voice in the effort to protect Brazil’s threatened ecosystems. His farm – Agua Viva – spans both the Amazon and Cerrado biomes, so he is maintaining a legal reserve and has begun reforestation efforts in other key areas of his land. Through these efforts, Caio has seen the return of crucial flora and fauna, including the jaguar. The presence of an apex predator such as the jaguar indicates a robust and thriving ecosystem. Agua Viva has been recognized with the Certificado Onça-Pintada, or Jaguar Friendly Ranch Certification, by the Instituto Onça-Pintada for accomplishments related to protecting this threatened species.

By exemplifying actions and conduct that allow for the coexistence of cattle production and the jaguar, Caio and other landowners are taking a leadership role in decisions that will help determine the jaguar’s existence for future generations.

Developing the Soy Calculator: a Critical Tool to Tackle Deforestation

To meet our Commitment on Forests, we needed to ensure that the soy footprint calculation reflected the reality of the production of chicken around the world. But we and other companies lacked the tools to do so.

To create such a tool, we engaged with suppliers such as Tyson Foods and Cargill, Franchisees and external partners to develop a soy calculator. The tool’s output is based on real supply chain data gathered across McDonald’s global business.

The calculator provides an estimate of McDonald’s soy footprint (in hectares and volume of soy) in the priority countries of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay by combining different parameters related to the animal production systems in those countries. The chicken raw material volumes are gathered and analyzed and the summarized soy footprint is used to estimate the area for soy production, and the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) equivalent premium (US$) to be purchased by McDonald’s chicken suppliers to initially compensate for it.

The Soy Calculator is a practical and valuable tool that not only helps us implement our Commitment on Forests, but is also an accessible resource for other companies on a similar journey to support deforestation-free supply chains. We first shared this tool at an open forum in São Paolo, and have now made it available to all.

Download the study Estimating the Embedded Soy Footprint of Animal-Based Products (PDF – 1.9kb).

 

Supporting Jurisdictional Approaches

Jurisdictional approaches are multi-stakeholder governance, monitoring or enforcement programs at a sub-national level that tackle social or environmental challenges such as deforestation, biodiversity loss and farmer livelihoods.

These approaches define relevant boundaries to enable companies sourcing agricultural commodities to collaborate with local governments, communities and producers in their sourcing region. McDonald’s supports jurisdictional approaches because we know that by working together, we can all ensure that local laws, regional efforts and corporate policies work in concert to make regions deforestation-free.

One of the leading jurisdictional approaches is the Produce, Conserve, Include (PCI) strategy in Mato Grosso, Brazil (also home to Caio Penido, one of our flagship farmers). Download our case study on Caio Penido (PDF – 9.9mb).

An important PCI project is the PECSA program (Pecuária Sustentável da Amazônia / Amazon Sustainable Cattle Ranching, formerly Novo Campo), which McDonald’s and Arcos Dorados took part in alongside the Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock, local NGOs and industry partners. It aims to help eliminate deforestation in the Amazon biome and to meet the GRSB Principles and Criteria.

With a target to restore 10,000 hectares (24,711 acres) of degraded land to improved pastures, the PECSA program focuses on the recovery of degraded pastures and improvements in animal management, protecting the area’s biodiverse ecosystems.

McDonald’s is proud to support the PCI strategy by working with suppliers who source from Caio Penido and other farmers committed to supporting deforestation-free supply chains. As well as mapping beef already sourced from the Mato Grosso region, we are exploring further ways to support the work being done there.



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Developing the Soy Calculator: a Critical Tool to Tackle Deforestation

To meet our Commitment on Forests, we needed to ensure that the soy footprint calculation reflected the reality of the production of chicken around the world. But we and other companies lacked the tools to do so.

To create such a tool, we engaged with suppliers such as Tyson Foods and Cargill, Franchisees and external partners to develop a soy calculator. The tool’s output is based on real supply chain data gathered across McDonald’s global business.

The calculator provides an estimate of McDonald’s soy footprint (in hectares and volume of soy) in the priority countries of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay by combining different parameters related to the animal production systems in those countries. The chicken raw material volumes are gathered and analyzed and the summarized soy footprint is used to estimate the area for soy production, and the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) equivalent premium (US$) to be purchased by McDonald’s chicken suppliers to initially compensate for it.

The Soy Calculator is a practical and valuable tool that not only helps us implement our Commitment on Forests, but is also an accessible resource for other companies on a similar journey to support deforestation-free supply chains. We first shared this tool at an open forum in São Paolo, and have now made it available to all.

Download the study Estimating the Embedded Soy Footprint of Animal-Based Products (PDF – 1.9kb).

 

Supporting Jurisdictional Approaches

Jurisdictional approaches are multi-stakeholder governance, monitoring or enforcement programs at a sub-national level that tackle social or environmental challenges such as deforestation, biodiversity loss and farmer livelihoods.

These approaches define relevant boundaries to enable companies sourcing agricultural commodities to collaborate with local governments, communities and producers in their sourcing region. McDonald’s supports jurisdictional approaches because we know that by working together, we can all ensure that local laws, regional efforts and corporate policies work in concert to make regions deforestation-free.

One of the leading jurisdictional approaches is the Produce, Conserve, Include (PCI) strategy in Mato Grosso, Brazil (also home to Caio Penido, one of our flagship farmers). Download our case study on Caio Penido (PDF – 9.9mb).

An important PCI project is the PECSA program (Pecuária Sustentável da Amazônia / Amazon Sustainable Cattle Ranching, formerly Novo Campo), which McDonald’s and Arcos Dorados took part in alongside the Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock, local NGOs and industry partners. It aims to help eliminate deforestation in the Amazon biome and to meet the GRSB Principles and Criteria.

With a target to restore 10,000 hectares (24,711 acres) of degraded land to improved pastures, the PECSA program focuses on the recovery of degraded pastures and improvements in animal management, protecting the area’s biodiverse ecosystems.

McDonald’s is proud to support the PCI strategy by working with suppliers who source from Caio Penido and other farmers committed to supporting deforestation-free supply chains. As well as mapping beef already sourced from the Mato Grosso region, we are exploring further ways to support the work being done there.



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Our Performance

Our Performance

Goal

Goal

By the end of 2020, eliminate deforestation in supply chains for our beef, chicken (including soy in feed), palm oil, coffee and the fiber used in guest packaging.

By the end of 2020, eliminate deforestation in supply chains for our beef, chicken (including soy in feed), palm oil, coffee and the fiber used in guest packaging.

Progress

Progress

As of the end of 2019, 86% of our beef, soy sourced for chicken feed, palm oil, coffee and fiber used in guest packaging volumes support deforestation-free supply chains.1

 

Beef

92% of McDonald’s global beef supply2 is verified as supporting deforestation-free supply chains.

Chicken

71% of soy sourced for feed of chicken used in McDonald’s products support deforestation-free supply chains;3 and 86% of soy sourced for feed of chicken used for McDonald’s products and supplied to McDonald’s restaurants in Europe was covered by a combination of ProTerra or Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) certifications.

McDonald’s completed a forest risk assessment of the facilities and farms that produce chicken in our supply chain. The results indicated that the footprint and impact on forests of these facilities was immaterial compared to soy production for animal feed. As a result, soy was prioritized for action. Facilities and farms will be revisited in our annual supply chain assessment.

Palm Oil

100% of the palm oil used in McDonald’s restaurants and as ingredients in McDonald’s products support the production of sustainable palm oil and deforestation-free supply chains.4

We are committed to increasing traceability for the palm oil used in the McDonald’s System in the greatest volumes, which means we are increasing our physical Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) volumes (Mass Balance, Segregated and Identity Preserved). Our volumes of physical certified oils increased from 58% in 2018 to 71% in 2019.

By RSPO supply chain model:

  • 71% Physical RSPO certified
    • 69% Mass Balance
    • 2% Segregated
    • 0.1% Identify Preserved
  • 29% Book and Claim Credits
     

Coffee

96% of coffee sourced for McDonald’s restaurants supports deforestation-free supply chains.5

Fiber

93% of primary fiber-based guest packaging6 sourced for McDonald’s restaurants supports deforestation-free supply chains.


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As of the end of 2019, 86% of our beef, soy sourced for chicken feed, palm oil, coffee and fiber used in guest packaging volumes support deforestation-free supply chains.1

 

Beef

92% of McDonald’s global beef supply2 is verified as supporting deforestation-free supply chains.

Chicken

71% of soy sourced for feed of chicken used in McDonald’s products support deforestation-free supply chains;3 and 86% of soy sourced for feed of chicken used for McDonald’s products and supplied to McDonald’s restaurants in Europe was covered by a combination of ProTerra or Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) certifications.

McDonald’s completed a forest risk assessment of the facilities and farms that produce chicken in our supply chain. The results indicated that the footprint and impact on forests of these facilities was immaterial compared to soy production for animal feed. As a result, soy was prioritized for action. Facilities and farms will be revisited in our annual supply chain assessment.

Palm Oil

100% of the palm oil used in McDonald’s restaurants and as ingredients in McDonald’s products support the production of sustainable palm oil and deforestation-free supply chains.4

We are committed to increasing traceability for the palm oil used in the McDonald’s System in the greatest volumes, which means we are increasing our physical Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) volumes (Mass Balance, Segregated and Identity Preserved). Our volumes of physical certified oils increased from 58% in 2018 to 71% in 2019.

By RSPO supply chain model:

  • 71% Physical RSPO certified
    • 69% Mass Balance
    • 2% Segregated
    • 0.1% Identify Preserved
  • 29% Book and Claim Credits
     

Coffee

96% of coffee sourced for McDonald’s restaurants supports deforestation-free supply chains.5

Fiber

93% of primary fiber-based guest packaging6 sourced for McDonald’s restaurants supports deforestation-free supply chains.


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Footnotes

1 Calculated as the aggregated volumes of beef, soy sourced for chicken feed, palm oil, coffee and fiber used in guest packaging that are supporting deforestation-free supply chains, as a percentage of the aggregated total volumes sourced of these commodities.

2 Scope: Supplier scope includes all McDonald’s suppliers of beef to the McDonald’s System and their raw material suppliers. McDonald’s requires all beef raw material sourced from high priority regions to be verified to meet the criteria outlined in McDonald’s Deforestation-Free Beef Procurement Policy. This applies to cattle procured from last farm or feedlot prior to slaughter which is traced back to Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Australia (countries currently designated as high-deforestation priority regions). Exclusions: Beef used as secondary ingredient in McDonald’s products, for example, as flavoring in a sauce.

Scope: Product scope includes all soy sourced for feed of chicken used in McDonald’s products. Supplier scope includes all chicken suppliers to the McDonald’s system. Market scope includes all McDonald’s restaurants owned and operated by the Company and its Franchisees. Market scope for performance measure #2 – European: Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Malta, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Luxembourg, Belgium, U.K., Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Russia. Soy producing countries identified as high-deforestation priority regions for soy are currently designated as Argentina (Chaco biome), Brazil (Amazon and Cerrado biomes), and Paraguay (Chaco biome). Exclusions: Soy used as an ingredient in McDonald’s chicken products sold in restaurants, for example, soy oil.

4 Scope: Product scope includes 1) all palm oil sourced for McDonald’s restaurants for use as restaurant cooking oil and 2) all palm oil sourced by McDonald’s suppliers and used directly as an ingredient in a McDonald’s product and listed on the product’s ingredient statement. Supplier scope includes all globally or locally managed suppliers to the McDonald’s System. Market scope includes all McDonald’s restaurants owned and operated by the Company and its Franchisees. All countries are considered high-deforestation priority regions for palm oil. Exclusions: Palm oil, palm kernel oil or their derivative used as secondary ingredients in McDonald’s products. This is when palm oil is used as an ingredient in an ingredient, for example, an emulsifier.

5 Scope: Product scope includes all ground and whole bean coffee, including decaffeinated coffee, to be used in espresso-based drinks and coffee brewed at McDonald’s restaurants and all McDonald’s branded retail products (sold either in McDonald’s restaurants or elsewhere). Supplier scope includes all suppliers of coffee to the McDonald’s System. Market scope includes all McDonald’s restaurants owned and operated by the Company and its Franchisees. Coffee sourcing countries identified as high-deforestation priority regions for coffee are currently designated as Honduras, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Exclusions: Coffee extracts and ingredients used in products such as frappés and coffee in baked goods; coffee in cold brew drinks if they are brewed off-site; coffee extract in ready-to-drink retail products; and other locally sourced products containing coffee.

6 “Fiber-based packaging” refers to paper and board packaging made of virgin or recycled pulpwood fiber. “Primary fiber-based packaging” refers to products that are used to package guest food on premises at McDonald’s restaurants. This type of packaging includes containers, cups, wraps, bags for food, beverages, napkins, Happy Meal cartons and cup carriers comprising more than 98% by weight of the primary fiber-based packaging portfolio.

7 Scope: Product scope includes all primary fiber-based guest packaging. Supplier scope includes all suppliers of primary fiber-based guest packaging to the McDonald’s System. Market scope includes all markets purchasing primary fiber-based guest packaging. Fiber sourcing countries identified as high-deforestation priority regions for fiber are currently designated as Argentina, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Russia, and Vietnam. Exclusions: Primary fiber-based packaging in food packaged off-site; and wood stirrers and cutlery, tray liners, straws and limited locally sourced items. 

 

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Footnotes

1 Calculated as the aggregated volumes of beef, soy sourced for chicken feed, palm oil, coffee and fiber used in guest packaging that are supporting deforestation-free supply chains, as a percentage of the aggregated total volumes sourced of these commodities.

2 Scope: Supplier scope includes all McDonald’s suppliers of beef to the McDonald’s System and their raw material suppliers. McDonald’s requires all beef raw material sourced from high priority regions to be verified to meet the criteria outlined in McDonald’s Deforestation-Free Beef Procurement Policy. This applies to cattle procured from last farm or feedlot prior to slaughter which is traced back to Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Australia (countries currently designated as high-deforestation priority regions). Exclusions: Beef used as secondary ingredient in McDonald’s products, for example, as flavoring in a sauce.

Scope: Product scope includes all soy sourced for feed of chicken used in McDonald’s products. Supplier scope includes all chicken suppliers to the McDonald’s system. Market scope includes all McDonald’s restaurants owned and operated by the Company and its Franchisees. Market scope for performance measure #2 – European: Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Malta, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Luxembourg, Belgium, U.K., Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Russia. Soy producing countries identified as high-deforestation priority regions for soy are currently designated as Argentina (Chaco biome), Brazil (Amazon and Cerrado biomes), and Paraguay (Chaco biome). Exclusions: Soy used as an ingredient in McDonald’s chicken products sold in restaurants, for example, soy oil.

4 Scope: Product scope includes 1) all palm oil sourced for McDonald’s restaurants for use as restaurant cooking oil and 2) all palm oil sourced by McDonald’s suppliers and used directly as an ingredient in a McDonald’s product and listed on the product’s ingredient statement. Supplier scope includes all globally or locally managed suppliers to the McDonald’s System. Market scope includes all McDonald’s restaurants owned and operated by the Company and its Franchisees. All countries are considered high-deforestation priority regions for palm oil. Exclusions: Palm oil, palm kernel oil or their derivative used as secondary ingredients in McDonald’s products. This is when palm oil is used as an ingredient in an ingredient, for example, an emulsifier.

5 Scope: Product scope includes all ground and whole bean coffee, including decaffeinated coffee, to be used in espresso-based drinks and coffee brewed at McDonald’s restaurants and all McDonald’s branded retail products (sold either in McDonald’s restaurants or elsewhere). Supplier scope includes all suppliers of coffee to the McDonald’s System. Market scope includes all McDonald’s restaurants owned and operated by the Company and its Franchisees. Coffee sourcing countries identified as high-deforestation priority regions for coffee are currently designated as Honduras, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Exclusions: Coffee extracts and ingredients used in products such as frappés and coffee in baked goods; coffee in cold brew drinks if they are brewed off-site; coffee extract in ready-to-drink retail products; and other locally sourced products containing coffee.

6 “Fiber-based packaging” refers to paper and board packaging made of virgin or recycled pulpwood fiber. “Primary fiber-based packaging” refers to products that are used to package guest food on premises at McDonald’s restaurants. This type of packaging includes containers, cups, wraps, bags for food, beverages, napkins, Happy Meal cartons and cup carriers comprising more than 98% by weight of the primary fiber-based packaging portfolio.

7 Scope: Product scope includes all primary fiber-based guest packaging. Supplier scope includes all suppliers of primary fiber-based guest packaging to the McDonald’s System. Market scope includes all markets purchasing primary fiber-based guest packaging. Fiber sourcing countries identified as high-deforestation priority regions for fiber are currently designated as Argentina, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Russia, and Vietnam. Exclusions: Primary fiber-based packaging in food packaged off-site; and wood stirrers and cutlery, tray liners, straws and limited locally sourced items. 

 

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