McDonald's is moving ahead with its very impressive
Sustainable Land Management Commitment, announced earlier this year.
It requires that, over time, its suppliers only use agricultural raw materials for the company's food and packaging that originate from sustainably-managed lands, ensuring the food served in its restaurants around the world is sourced from certified sustainable sources. The commitment is supported by an external, third-party evaluation process.
The first raw materials it's focusing on are palm oil, beef, poultry, coffee, and packaging fiber, because they have the most sustainability impacts, based on an analysis by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
McDonald's has committed to source palm oil solely from member companies of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) by the end of this year.
It will use only RSPO-certified palm oil in its restaurants and pre-cooked chicken and potato products by 2015.
Palm oil is the world's leading oil crop, and is used in thousands of products from soap to food. It can only be grown in tropical areas of Asia, Africa, and South America - its popularity has led to devastating deforestation and loss of biodiversity as primary forests have been cleared for palm plantations.
Formed in 2004, RSPO promotes sustainably produced palm oil through credible global standards and stakeholder engagement. The nonprofit unites stakeholders from seven sectors of the palm oil industry - palm oil producers, processors, traders, consumer goods manufacturers, retailers, banks and investors, environmental and social NGOs - to develop and implement global standards for sustainable palm oil.
RSPO currently has 700 member organizations from 50 countries. In addition to McDonald's, US-based companies that have recently joined include Walmart, Hershey, and CitiGroup.
McDonald's is working with the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and Regional Roundtables to improve the sustainability of beef production.
The company also joined the Sustainability Consortium, which drives scientific research and development of standards and IT tools to understand and address the environmental, social, and economic implications of products.
Learn about McDonald's and Sustainable Land Management: