Next Stop, Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) 2018

September 13, 2018

Voice of Francesca DeBiase

Last week, I had the pleasure of joining our partners at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and fellow We Are Still In members at a Global Climate Action Summit Preview event in Washington, D.C. to showcase the way businesses, along with mayors, universities and NGOs are playing a key role in addressing climate change both in the U.S. and around the world.

During the event, Megan Litke, director of sustainability at American University, Alicia Zatcoff, sustainability manager of the City of Richmond, VA and I highlighted our shared climate goals across sectors and demonstrated how it will take collaboration and cross-sector global partnerships to address this great challenge.

Collectively, we all agree climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions – at McDonald’s we recognize the critical role we play in these efforts. We have the scale to make a difference. And we are committed to using our Scale for Good by being part of the solution, both in our local communities and through the global reach of our brand.  As the largest restaurant company, McDonald’s operates 37,000 restaurants in over 100 countries that serve 1% of the global population, or 69 million people, each day. McDonald’s is committed to working together to make a difference. By assessing and improving sustainability across entire supply chains, we are not only reducing emissions, we are also investing in the long-term success of local communities and ecosystems.

In March, McDonald’s became the first global restaurant company in the world to address climate change by setting a Science Based Target to significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. We will achieve these goals by partnering with franchisees to cut greenhouse gas emissions from McDonald’s restaurants and offices by 36% by 2030 from a 2015 base year. We’re also collaborating with suppliers and producers in our commitment to a 31% reduction in emissions intensity (per metric ton of food and packaging) across our supply chain by 2030 from 2015 levels.

This is a journey, and we do not have all the answers. But by working together with our franchisees, suppliers, other stakeholders, like WWF, and other global climate leaders, we can mobilize communities and shift industries toward more sustainable practices and drive results on a scale that matters.

This week at the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco, I am excited to share what we have learned so far in key areas where we are making progress – such as coffee sustainability, forest conservation and agricultural production. I am equally excited to gain insights from others in the global community, so our team can accelerate progress even faster. We know that addressing climate change requires global, collaborative solutions.  

If you will be at GCAS, we hope you will be able to attend my session, “Unlocking Climate Action: Sustainable and Resilient Supply Chains” on Thursday, September 13 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m., and my colleague, Robert Gibbs, Chief Communications Officer and Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations, McDonald’s, at the session, “Businesses Stepping Up with Science Based Targets” on Thursday, September 13 from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. If you cannot join in-person, there is a live stream available HERE and you can join the conversation on social media by following @McDonald’sCorp and by using the hashtags #ScaleForGood and #GCAS2018.

As Carter Roberts, CEO of WWF said at the event last week, “GCAS will be the most notable climate event of the year, and it will deliver a signal that creating a framework for action on climate is crucial.” McDonald's is eager to connect with the global community, show progress and share the innovations and best practices that are working to demonstrate how the Paris Agreement is achievable.