Follow the Frog! Rainforest Alliance Recognizes McDonald’s for Sustainability Leadership

May 09, 2018

Frogs are an indicator species of environmental health, according to Rainforest Alliance, which uses the frog as its logo and permits the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal on products that meet its rigorous sustainability standards.

At its May 9 gala in New York, the Rainforest Alliance will recognize McDonald’s with the Sustainable Pathfinder Award for the work we are doing to advance sustainable practices across our industry. McDonald’s is the first multinational QSR to be recognized with this award.

“We believe it’s an exciting example of mainstream sustainability work that touches the average person, and that is striving for improvement in a range of challenging sectors today,” said Han de Groot, CEO of Rainforest Alliance, in a letter to McDonald’s.  

McDonald’s is one of the largest corporate partners of the Rainforest Alliance. In 2016, more than half of McDonald’s sustainably sourced coffee globally came from Rainforest Alliance Certified or UTZ Certified farms (the two organizations recently merged). McDonald’s has also pledged to serve 100 percent Rainforest Alliance Certified tea in our U.S. restaurants, and 100 percent sustainably sourced coffee globally both by 2020.

The award also recognizes McDonald’s work across our Scale for Good initiative that overlaps with Rainforest Alliance’s goals in the areas of beef, packaging and deforestation. McDonald’s was a founding board member of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, which is working with beef producers to proactively identify, share and scale the industry’s most sustainable practices. In March, McDonald’s became the first restaurant company to set an approved Science Based Target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“While many challenges remain in sustainability across industries,” de Groot added, “We can think of no better time to recognize the importance of McDonald’s outstanding leadership in responsible sourcing and sustainable supply chains.”

Global Sustainability Senior Director Jenny McColloch will accept the award for McDonald’s at the Rainforest Alliance gala. Townsend Bailey, Director, Food Systems Sustainability, will address McDonald’s scale and mainstream sustainability at the related Rainforest Alliance Leadership Summit earlier in the day.