Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Our favorite hamburger place has the best suppliers.

Amongst the 51 best of the supply chain sustainability stories, McDonalds was honored with the 2012 best of sustainable supply chain. It is not the company alone that gives the best products, but the companies who supply goods and stay on schedule. 51 different stories based on the lines of food manufacturing, climate/energy, animal welfare, water, and community impact were submitted.   

The McDonald’s supply chain is a complex web of direct and indirect suppliers. This complex system is managed by working with direct suppliers who share their values and vision for sustainable supply. They hold them to clear standards for quality, safety, efficiency and sustainability. They are expected to extend those requirements to their suppliers. Overall, McDonald’s and their suppliers are collectively focused on three areas of responsibility: ethics, environment, and economics:
  • Ethics - McDonalds envision purchasing from suppliers that follow practices that ensure the health and safety of their employees and the welfare and humane treatment of animals in their supply chain.
  • Environment - They envision influencing the sourcing of their materials and ensuring the design of their products, manufacture, distribution and use to minimize life-cycle impacts on the environment
  •  Economics - They envision delivering affordable food, engaging in equitable trade practices, limiting the spread of agricultural diseases, and positively impacting the communities where the suppliers operate.

Their commitment to source more of food and packaging from sustainable sources has resulted in significant progress. Through 2011 they sourced 99% of white fish from sustainable fisheries. McDonald’s Europe, Australia and New Zealand buy 100% of their coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ or UTZ Certified farms, and McDonald’s U.S. and Canada have also started increasing their purchases of certified coffee, including 100% of their espresso. Additionally, McDonald’s Canada, McDonald’s U.S. and their operators are making an investment in a sustainable agriculture program focused on stabilizing long-term supply and driving positive change in coffee farming and trading practices.

They met the 2011 goal of requiring all McDonald’s palm oil suppliers to become members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), and began sourcing a portion of their palm oil from RSPO certified sources in 2012. In addition to coffee and palm oil, other priority focus areas include poultry, fish, fiber, and beef. They have been working to improve their measurement and verification processes at the agricultural level across all six of these priorities, while beef continues to be their primary focus. They estimate that approximately two-thirds of their carbon footprint is associated with livestock in the supply chain. Globally, McDonald’s is working with other organizations to address the need for standards and principles for measuring sustainable beef. They are supporting a variety of innovative programs and initiatives.

In 2011, 100% of their suppliers signed the Code of Conduct, and continue making sure all new suppliers sign the Code as well. In early 2012, they established a global, cross functional Animal Health and Welfare team that includes internal and external experts on beef, pork, poultry and egg-laying hens. As an industry leader, they are striving to facilitate stakeholder engagement, address global animal health and welfare opportunities in our supply chain and influence the industry for resolution. With a supply chain developed strongly on these responsibilities, who is going to stop them from being the best?

  1. http://bestpractices.mcdonalds.com/sections/2-best-of-sustainable-supply
  2. http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/mcd/sustainability/our_focus_areas/sustainable_supply_chain.html
  3. http://www.sustainableplant.com/2012/03/mcdonald-s-suppliers-provide-award-winning-examples-of-sustainable-practices/

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