McDonalds roadmaps for sustainability and inclusion

McDonald's roadmaps for sustainability and inclusion

 October 03, 2019

Where Women Work takes a look at McDonald's ongoing commitment to sustainability as well as the company's diversity and inclusion priorities. 

Using the company's scale for good

The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a holistic and ambitious roadmap for governments, businesses and civil society to work together in partnership toward making sustainability a reality.

The SDGs are important to McDonald's stakeholders, including customers and their communities, the farmers and suppliers that produce the company's food, McDonald’s employees and its non-governmental organization (NGO) advisors and partners. McDonald's has mapped its Scale for Good initiatives to the SDGs and is helping drive meaningful action that positively impacts this global agenda.

While McDonald's focuses on the topics where it can make the greatest difference, the company's work touches on all of the SDGs. "We are proud to demonstrate how we believe our work contributes to the SDGs, but acknowledge that there is more to do. We look forward to continuing our journey and further evolving how we can make the most meaningful contribution towards making a sustainable future possible," says McDonald's.

“We welcome and fully support the SDGs as a roadmap for our Scale for Good journey to ensure we make a positive difference to some of the most pressing social and environmental challenges in the world today. We have a role to play in helping society meet the goals and are committed to drive meaningful change that reaches beyond the McDonald’s system in the areas where we can have the biggest impact," says Keith Kenny, Vice President Global Sustainability, McDonald's Corporation.

Many areas, considerable positive impact

There are many areas where McDonald's is driving a positive impact.

SDG 2: Zero Hunger

Universal access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food at all times of the year requires sustainable food production systems and more resilient agriculture practices. McDonald’s is committed to serving delicious food, sourced in a way that is better for both the planet and the communities in its supply chains and where its operates. McDonald's has also set new goals on children's nutrition as part of its commitment to families.

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Reducing unemployment and developing useful skillsets, especially for young people, are essential components of sustained and inclusive economic growth. McDonald's and its independent franchisees employ over a million people worldwide at any given point in time. Together they have the opportunity to provide meaningful work, valuable development opportunities across McDonald’s restaurants and offices, and are proud to promote diversity and inclusivity in its communities.

SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption

Sourcing food and packaging responsibly is critical for McDonald's to continue sourcing high-quality raw materials long into the future. This includes making the most efficient use of natural resources, and minimizing negative impacts on people and the planet. McDonald's aspires toward supporting a more circular economy by focusing not only on where its ingredients and materials come from, but also what happens to packaging waste along the supply chain, in McDonald’s restaurants and in its communities. 

SDG 13: Climate Action

Climate Change is the biggest environmental issue of our time, affecting McDonald's customers, employees, and everything from its supply chain to the thousands of communities around the world in which McDonald's operates its restaurants. As the world’s largest restaurant company, McDonald's is using its scale to help address this defining issue for current and future generations. 

SDG 15: Life on Land

Forests around the world are under threat from deforestation, which is estimated to account for 15 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This represents a real risk to the McDonald's business, its supply chain and its customers. McDonald's believes that an effective approach to address deforestation will require strong collaboration between governments, civil society and the private sector. The company is committed to working with suppliers, governments, producers and other corporate and NGO partners to eliminate deforestation from its global supply chains, and promoting responsible forestry and production practices that benefit people, communities and the planet.

SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals

McDonald's believes that it can only drive meaningful change across all of its Scale for Good initiatives by partnering within the McDonald’s system as well as externally with other stakeholders and organizations to tackle global issues collaboratively. McDonald’s employees, franchisees, suppliers, investors, NGOs and academics are all collaborating – and know that local communities and subject matter experts are critical for lasting impact. Continuing to build meaningful partnerships will help McDonald's to prioritize issues of greatest concern to its business and society, and drive innovation. SDG 17 maps across all McDonald's Scale for Good work.

A commitment to diversity and inclusion

In addition to focusing on sustainability, McDonald's has a commitment to diversity and inclusion across its workforce. McDonald’s belief is rooted in 'Diversity IS Inclusion', a bold and seismic value proposition where every individual feels their culture, identity, and experiences are valued and respected. The company knows that listening to and participating in knowledge-sharing and eclectic insights has helped make it the organization it is today.

By aligning the 'Diversity IS Inclusion' proposition with McDonald's culture pillars of Customer Obsessed, Better Together, and Committed to Lead, McDonald's affecting the business in a positive way.

Community engagement

The Global Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement team at McDonald's has established shared value relationships with several community-based organizations. These relationships help provide McDonald's with direct insights into issues and challenges facing our communities - where we are neighbors as well as business owners.

Over the years, key areas have included:

  • Education - the Global Diversity, Inclusion & Community Engagement department has created an education portfolio entitled ‘Food for Thought’, Beyond Bias. The overarching objective is to offer an education experience where everyone is aware of their unique ability to create delicious feel-good moments for our customers, and is able to develop meaningful relationships with colleagues that inspire the higher levels of engagement we need to drive business growth.
  • Employee Business Networks - McDonald’s has a long history of supporting and building employee business networks. It Employee Business Networks help promote an inclusive work environment, foster relationships, support career development opportunities and grow the business. They also provide a source of mentors, role models, and sponsors, as well as give network members access to senior leadership, information on career strategies, and opportunities for advancement. 
  • Inclusive Contractual Practices - McDonald’s is providing greater transparency regarding its approach to certain contractual arrangements it may enter into with employees based in the United States. Specifically, arbitration, noncompetition, and nondisclosure covenants have come under public scrutiny where their overboard application may result in inequities. With this in mind, McDonald's limits its use of such agreements.

Why gender diversity matters to McDonald's 

"Building a gender-balanced organization is a strategic priority for McDonald’s, as it helps us better understand and meet the needs of our customers, enables us to access the talent we need to succeed, and is at the heart of our culture, where we want everyone to feel safe, valued, and free to be themselves," says McDonald's. "At McDonald’s, we believe that the strength and diversity of our talent enable us to build a better, stronger McDonald’s. We are committed to creating a workplace where everyone – from crew to c-suite - is equally supported and empowered to realize their full potential."

Learn more about McDonald's commitment to supporting gender balance and diversity across its business and in the community.

Join prime employer for women, McDonald's

Through unique initiatives, McDonald’s continues to demonstrate how the company helps forge a sustainable future, while giving back to local communities and people. 

Learn more about McDonald's job opportunities and kick-start your own career today.

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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