McDonald’s strategy to bring renewable energy to its supply chain

McDonald’s strategy to bring renewable energy to its supply chain

McDonald’s, the Chicago-based burger giant chain, has announced its plans to reduce its supply chain-related electricity emissions, aligning with its commitment to environmental sustainability. The company and all of its North American Logistics Council will be purchasing renewable energy certificates from Enel North America’s Blue Jay solar project. Enel North America is providing solutions across the US and Canada to help organisations, consumers, and cities electrify their lives with clean energy solutions while still fighting the climate crisis. 

McDonald’s logistics council includes names such as Mile Hi Foods, Martin Brower, The Anderson-DuBose Co, and Armada. McDonald’s is set to purchase around 190 megawatts from the Blue Jay solar project, situated in Texas. This solar farm is currently under construction and expected to be entirely operational this year. The Blue Jay project has huge potential, featuring more than 658,000 solar panels spread across 2,700 acres. 

It will be able to create more than 450 construction jobs and avoid 324,000 CO2 emissions per year. According to a Bloomberg Report, this project could power the equivalent of 38,000 homes in Texas. The agreement between Enel North America and Mcdonald’s means that McDonald’s full logistics supply chain for all of its restaurants in the US will be fueled by renewable electricity. This is roughly 470,000-megawatt hours annually. The electricity will not only power its restaurants but also its warehouses, distribution centres, and more. 

The road to zero emissions

McDonald’s has already been making investments in renewable energy for several years as part of broader climate goals to become more sustainable. The chain has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 as a means to limit the impact of climate change. Of course, supply chain emissions are notably more challenging because companies often do not have control over what their suppliers do.

Around 80% of greenhouse gas emissions and more than 80% of the impact on land, air, biodiversity, water, and geological resources are attributed to supply chain impacts, according to McKinsey. Trucking, in particular, is a big contributor to environmental damage, accounting for a substantial quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, it is vital that businesses focus on supply chain emissions as well as their own business practices and operations. 

Most of McDonald’s supply-chain emissions come from the chain’s purchase of goods, including services and foods. In saying that, Mcdonald’s has thought about this and has been working with suppliers on numerous social and environmental issues. The restaurant chain and its logistic suppliers have agreed to purchase enough solar energy to equate to the power needs of 800 McDonald’s US restaurants each year. 

This partnership or shared agreement will allow for both McDonald’s and the logistics companies to work together to meet their responsive climate commitments. McDonald’s hopes through these plans they will be able to achieve their goal to reduce emissions by 38 percent within the next eight years. They will then set their sights on achieving net zero emissions worldwide by 2050. It is a positive sign to see a big company like Mcdonald’s taking climate action and looking at its supply chain emissions which are often overlooked.

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