McDonald’s® Canada and its suppliers are collectively focused on three responsibility areas: ethical, environmental and economic. We work with direct suppliers who share our values and our vision for sustainable supply, a supply chain that profitably yields high-quality, safe products without supply interruption while leveraging our leadership position to create a net benefit by improving ethical, environmental and economic outcomes. We hold them to clear standards for quality, safety, efficiency and sustainability. We also expect them to extend those requirements to their suppliers.

Our Environmental ScorecardFor the past five years, we have used our Environmental Scorecard to encourage suppliers to measure and reduce their environmental impacts. Suppliers provide annual data for energy, water, air and waste relative to units of production. Suppliers then use the scorecard to identify and share best practices throughout McDonald’s supply chain related to collectively producing more with less – less waste, less pollution and less use of resources during the development of our products.

For example, McCain Foods, one of McDonald’s largest potato suppliers, began using the scorecard in 2005 to track the utilization of “biogas” (a by-product of wastewater treatment that can be used to replace fossil fuels in plant boilers or to generate “green” electricity). The scorecard helped McCain identify improvement opportunities that increased biogas usage from about 65% to more than 86%. The clean renewable energy resulting from this increase is enough to power a city of about 20,000 people for one year.

Protecting the rainforest for more than 20 yearsMcDonald’s® commitment to protect valuable rainforest land began in 1989 when we established a policy against sourcing beef from deforested areas in Brazil. We built on this commitment in 2006 when we partnered with Greenpeace International, the Brazilian government and others in the industry to establish a moratorium on the purchase of soya for feed from recently deforested regions of the Amazon. This has successfully stemmed the tide of deforestation due to soya farming. (Soya is a major component of feed for both cattle and poultry).

Sustainable Land Management CommitmentBuilding on our long-standing policy not to source beef from valuable rainforest land, McDonald’s® developed a Sustainable Land Management Commitment in 2009. The commitment states that we will work with suppliers over time to ensure that agricultural raw materials for McDonald’s food originate from legal and sustainably managed land sources.

In 2010, we began working with our suppliers to implement policies and programs that are aligned with our shared goal to achieve sustainable solutions for continuous progress. Our aim is to conserve biodiversity, maintain rare and critical ecosystems and landscapes, and meet the economic and cultural needs of local communities, all while ensuring safe, high quality and affordable supply for McDonald’s restaurants around the world.

Over the last year, representatives from World Wildlife Fund performed an assessment of our supply chain risks and opportunities in this area, with a focus on our most purchased ingredients: beef, chicken, oil, coffee and wood fibre (for packaging needs). The analysis was completed at the end of 2010, and we are in the process of setting global and local priorities and engaging our suppliers in taking action.

For more details, please see our Sustainable Land Management Commitment.

BeefAs part of our ongoing work under the Sustainable Land Management Commitment, McDonald’s® works with suppliers to ensure that every step of the journey from farm to front counter is accomplished as humanely and sustainably as possible, minimizing environmental impacts and continuously improving the social and animal welfare aspects of beef production.

In November 2010, McDonald’s joined World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as a lead sponsor of the first Global Conference on Sustainable Beef. More than 300 stakeholders from all parts of the beef supply chain gathered in Denver, Colorado, for three days to discuss current practices, identify areas of opportunity and drive continuous improvement throughout the global beef system.

McDonald’s Canada sources 100% of its beef from beef suppliers in Canada.

Wood FibreWood fibre is used in the creation of our consumer packaging, from sandwich wraps and fry boxes to takeout bags and tray liners.

McDonald’s works with suppliers to ensure that wood fibre used in our supply chain originates from legal and acceptable sources. We will not knowingly purchase from suppliers that source otherwise. We also give preference to the purchase of wood fibre that has earned credible third-party certification.In Canada, we have achieved 100% purchasing from legal and acceptable sources and nearly 15% purchasing from certified sources.

Our StandardsMcDonald’s has established standards for wood fibre sourcing and holds suppliers accountable to meeting these. Acceptable categories of wood fibre sources include those that are:

  • Not obtained from land that has been converted to plantation or other land uses after November 1994 (per Forest Steward Council)
  • Not sourced from areas included in an official planning process for designation as protected
  • Not sourced from species listed under International Convention on Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) regulations
  • Conforming with international trade sanctions

Legal logging occurs when timber is harvested, transported, processed, bought and sold in compliance with national or sub-national laws.

McDonald’s (through our packaging supplier HAVI Global Solutions) is an integral member of several multi-stakeholder collaborations such as the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.

Reducing pesticide use by potato growersWorking with the Integrated Pest Management Institute , the National Potato Council and growers in the U.S. and Canada, McDonald’s has developed a comprehensive audit process that analyzes the use of pesticides, as well as fertilizer and water, on crops. By the end of 2010, 100% of potato growers and processors supplying McDonald’s completed the voluntary audit.

FishMcDonald’s Canada uses 100% Alaska Pollock from the Bering Sea – sourced from sustainable fisheries. Our sustainable fisheries standards, which are consistent with the Marine Stewardship Council’s principles of environmental responsibility and sustainable fishing, have guided our fish purchases since 2001.

McDonald’s has a working relationship with both Conservation International and the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership to define sustainability standards for the fisheries in its supply chain and to audit against them.

McDonald's Wins Seafood Champion Award

In 2009 McDonald's was recognized as a seafood champion by Seafood Choices Alliance. McDonald’s was lauded for their dedication and leadership within the global sustainable seafood movement and recognized for their work in advancing the marketplace for eco-friendly seafood.