Fast-food giant McDonald’s aims to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050

American fast-food company McDonald’s Corporation recently revealed its plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, cutting greenhouse gas emissions from light bulbs to beef in its restaurants.

By setting new targets in collaboration with the nonprofit Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), the company claimed it would accelerate the process of decreasing its carbon footprint across restaurants, headquarters, and its supply chain. Over 1,000 businesses have signed such pledges with the UN or the SBTi.

As wildfires, floods, and droughts make decelerating climate change more essential, funds controlling roughly USD 30 trillion in assets called on 1,600 of the world's top polluting firms to set science-based emissions targets, sources cited. 

McDonald’s intends to reduce absolute emissions by around a third for its suppliers and almost 40,000 company-run and franchised restaurants worldwide by 2030.

McDonald's Chief Sustainability Officer Jenny McColloch, to policymakers, said they are trying to signal their investors, partners, suppliers, other companies in the global community that they share the net-zero emission goal for 2050.

It is to be noted that McDonald's is one of the world's major beef buyers. Its supply chain, in particular its use of beef, poultry, dairy, and other proteins, accounts for over 80% of its total emissions.

The company would focus on reducing emissions in agriculture, land use, and forestry using new guidelines from SBTi, with whom it already collaborates.

McColloch mentioned that beef is a significant opportunity to help drive impact in the world with their farmers and rancher partners.

McDonald's 2050 net-zero objective covers emissions from both direct and indirect sources, such as corporate offices and restaurants, as well as suppliers' goods and services.

UN experts cited that by 2050 the overall net emissions must reach zero to keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. Companies must reduce carbon dioxide emissions and neutralize any leftover emissions with initiatives that capture the gas under net-zero plans to address this global concern.

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