McDonalds increases commitment to renewable energy in a big way

McDonald's increases commitment to renewable energy in a big way

 January 25, 2021

McDonald's continues its commitment to take climate action via increased investment in renewable energy generation. Building on past progress sourcing renewable energy in several European markets, McDonald’s completed three new virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) which are investments that increase renewable energy capacity by helping to build renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar farms, ultimately adding renewable energy to the nation’s power grid.

Strengthening the resilience of communities and the planet

“The COVID 19 pandemic has intensified McDonald’s focus on strengthening the resilience of our communities and the planet,” said Jenny McColloch, Vice President, Sustainability. “As one of the world’s largest restaurant companies, we have a unique opportunity to strengthen climate resiliency with our network of franchisees and supplier partners,” she commented.

“The impacts of these U.S.-based VPPA deals for renewable energy represent significant milestones toward our science based target for 2030, and serve as meaningful examples of the solutions we are employing throughout our system to drive climate action and add more renewable energy to the grid."

Stimulating local economies 

McDonald's renewable energy

This is McDonald’s living its values, its industry partners attest.

 “The addition of these VPPA transactions demonstrates McDonald’s continued leadership in the renewable energy space, as well as their commitment to supporting local communities where they serve,” said Miranda Ballentine, CEO of Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA).

 “These projects will not only provide more U.S. communities greater access to clean energy, but they will also stimulate local economies through job creation. As one of the nation’s leading corporate buyers of renewable energy in 2020, McDonald’s level of investment in clean energy serves as an inspiration to the entire REBA community,” she added. 

Generating employment opportunities

Beyond the environmental benefits, McDonald’s is excited that the investments will also generate employment opportunities and tax revenue in local communities where the projects are located, including an estimated 3,400 short-term jobs, 135 long-term positions and $360 million in local tax revenues – an example of the company's commitment to the communities it serves.

Reducing emissions intensity 

McDonald's is ambitious about renewable energy, but it’s one of many areas that the company is taking action to reduce their carbon footprint. 

In addition to their global restaurants and offices target, they are also committed to a 31% reduction in emissions intensity (per metric ton of food and packaging) across their supply chain, through collaboration with their suppliers and producers. This combined climate action target has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.

McDonald’s will continue to address climate change and this global health crisis, as trying as it is, is an important reminder for companies like theirs to keep a long-term mindset.  

"If we all hope to ensure a more resilient environment and food system for the future, we must," states McDonald's.

Work for a company helping to forge a sustainable future

McDonald's is finding new and innovative ways to reduce emissions, keep waste out of nature and preserve natural resources.

From minimizing how much packaging it uses to investing in renewable energy and partnering to advance sustainable and regenerative agriculture practices – McDonald's wants to help protect the planet for communities today and in the future. 

Explore how you can potentially be part of this sustainable commitment by researching the careers on offer with McDonald's.


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