McDonald’s Scale for Good Terms and Definitions

Given the complexity of McDonald’s business, communicating about sustainability can be challenging. To facilitate understanding of what we mean, we’ve defined key terms below used on this website.


What we mean when we say…

McDonald's: Our global brand, unless specified otherwise

We/The Company: McDonald’s Corporation and its majority-owned subsidiaries worldwide

The System: The Company, its Franchisees and suppliers are collectively referred to as the “System”; Also known as McDonald’s “three-legged stool”

Franchisees: Collective group of independent individuals and entities owning and operating McDonald’s restaurants under one of the following structures – conventional franchise, developmental license or affiliate; for more information, please see the Company’s Annual Report

McDonald’s restaurants/Restaurants: Includes restaurants owned by the Company and its Franchisees


Scale for Good goals

The goals included in our Scale for Good platform provide a roadmap of what we are working to achieve, depending on the end date set for each goal. Our platform currently includes goals on our Global Priorities, as well as across our core foundational programs.

As a brand, we realize that it will be difficult to measure progress in all the countries where we operate, but will strive to motivate the entire System by providing tools and resources to drive engagement and performance across our System. The majority of our aspirational goals focus on markets which account for nearly 80% of global sales. This scope reflects our available baseline data and short-term measurement capabilities, which we will continue to improve over time.

Progress toward our goals will be aggregated and reported on the Scale for Good platform, but market-by-market progress may vary and may be communicated in market-specific reports or country websites. Plans to achieve the global goals will be created based on market-by-market considerations.

Where we have communicated that we will meet a goal by a specific year, we include that full year in the allotted timeframe to meet the goal. For example, if our goal is to deliver something by 2025, we reserve the right to meet the goal by the 31st December 2025.

We cannot guarantee that we will achieve our stated goals. The Company is committed to putting forth good-faith efforts to make progress toward these goals, to report on a regular basis tangible progress and measurements, where possible, and to explain both successes and challenges along this journey.


Scale for Good boundaries

Our Franchisees and suppliers are independent business owners who make decisions for their own organizations, while maintaining core standards for our brand and customer satisfaction. We cannot prescribe solutions for them. Rather, we work in collaboration to raise awareness and provide tools and opportunities to help them on their sustainability journeys. We work with suppliers to mutually set objectives and targets and monitor their progress. Through self-managed excellence, suppliers are encouraged to identify and manage their key sustainability risks and opportunities, and incorporate goals into their business strategies.

Company employees and Company-owned restaurants are in our direct sphere of control. Therefore, many of the measures start with Company restaurants, with a plan to demonstrate success and expand measurement, as more independent Franchisees choose to implement sustainability initiatives.