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McDonald’s announced a set of targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the effect of which the company compared with taking 32 million cars off the road for one year. Those goals include reducing emissions from McDonald’s restaurants and offices by 36 percent by 2030, compared with 2015 levels. The targets also include a 31 percent reduction in emissions intensity (measured per metric ton of food and packaging) across its supply chain over the same period.
Beyond the altruistic merits of green initiatives, analysts and climate change experts say the move by one of the world’s most dominant restaurant chains reinforces the idea that companies can’t afford to ignore customer interest in their carbon footprints, or that of their cheeseburgers.
“Where McDonald’s goes, usually the rest of the restaurant industry eventually follows,” said Sara Senatore, a senior research analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., who focuses on the restaurant industry. “It’s hard for other companies not to follow suit eventually.”
Senatore pointed to past examples when McDonald’s has taken a stance on social-responsibility issues, including when the chain transitioned to antibiotic-free chicken.
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