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Business Ethics of Mcdonald's

Topics: Recycling, Waste management / Pages: 4 (966 words) / Published: Mar 10th, 2011
1. McDonald’s approach to environmental sustainability: McDonald’s mission is to be the UK’s favourite family restaurant and it believes that this involves protecting the environment at a local and global level. McDonald strives to ensure that its operations today do not have a negative impact on the lives of future generations.
McDonald’s goal is to achieve continuous environmental improvement. It complies with all current legislation and , where possible, act in anticipation of future environmental legislation, McDonald’s bases its environmental program around the hierarchy of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and are committed to continuous review, evaluation and improvement of its program. This includes setting targets and monitoring and reporting on progress towards meeting them.
McDonald’s business impacts on the environment through: * Sourcing agricultural products and other materials to serve and build its restaurants * The operation of its restaurants and administrative functions.
McDonald’s aim to address these impacts by:
Restaurant Operations- focusing on restaurant processes to: * Improve energy efficiency * Minimise impacts associated with odours, noise, effluent and emissions to atmosphere * Reduce the amount of solid waste * Increase the value recovered from solid waste before its responsible disposal. * Maintain a litter free environment around its restaurants by conducting regular litter patrols.
Purchasing- focusing on procurement to: * Work in partnership with environmentally responsible suppliers to minimise the resource use and pollution associative with its products and operations;
New Restaurants- focusing on the development of new restaurants to: * Minimise the impact on the environment of local communities; * Minimise the environmental impact of construction itself; * Reduce the environmental impact of building materials and increase the energy efficiency of the restaurant design
It’s Employees- focusing on training, and communicating with its employees to: * Increase the environmental awareness and relevant skills of all who work for McDonald’s;
Communications- focusing on communicating its environmental policy and procedures to: * Increase the environmental awareness of its suppliers and customers; * Improve liaison with local communities and their representatives.
Administration- focusing on its office-base activities to: * Improve energy efficiency and office recycling schemes and to reduce the impacts associated with business travel and travel to work (Macdonald’s environmental booklet, 2009).
McDonald’s is adapting strong environmental strategies that committed to protecting the environment for future generations, and it believes that business leaders must also be environmental leaders.
McDonald’s has also been active in educating its customers about the company’s environmental activities and positions. Brochures are available in restaurants informing customers about McDonald’s position on such topics as ozone depletion, the rain forest, and packaging.
McDonald’s is working to translate this environmental commitment into specific actions. In order to live up to its environmental policy, McDonald’s Environmental Affairs Officers has been given the authority to enforce adherence to standards, and reports directly to the Board of Directors on a regular basis. McDonald’s also plans to continue to seek counsel with environmental experts to take advantage of opportunities to improve its environmental performance on an ongoing basis.
To maintain sustainable environmental advantage McDonald’s has implemented a waste management strategy that based on the hierarchy: Source reduction Reuse

Recycle

Disposal

Source reduction:
Source reduction takes a stronger environmental position than recycling by reducing the weight, volume, or toxicity of products or packaging prior their use. Because source reduction decreases or eliminates waste at its point of generation, thus creating less to be reused, recycled, incinerated, or land filled. McDonald’s realizes that in order to achieve its waste reduction goals, it must collaborate with its suppliers. To promote collaboration, it has developed an annual environmental conference intended to train suppliers and has included environmental issues in its annual suppliers reviews and evaluations.
McDonald’s has made substantial progress in its source reduction efforts over the past 20 years. For example, McDonald’s ‘average meal’ in the 1970s- a Big Mac, fries and a shake- required 46 grams of packaging. Today, it requires 25 grams, a 46 percent reduction (McDonalds Packaging, 1990).
Reuse:
McDonald’s will reuse delivery packaging wherever possible in accordance with food safety laws. The delivery trays and crates used for all of its buns, muffins, milkshake and sundae mix returned to suppliers for reuse. This avoids the use of significant amount of cardboard.
Recycle:
McDonald’s has a target to recycle 100% of its corrugated cardboard. Cardboard constitutes approximately 30% of the average restaurant’s total waste and, as such, this recycling activity diverts a significant amount of waste from landfill, Used cooking oil represents 10% of a restaurants’ total waste, and is also recycled via local collectors at regional refineries into biodiesel, which is used to fuel the vehicle fleet that operates form McDonald’s distribute centre. In 2008 every vehicle in the entire 155-strong delivery fleet will be converted to run on the fuel. The carbon saving of the move will be 1675 tonnes annually when the national roll out is completed- the equivalent of removing 2,424 family cars from the road each year (Macdonald’s environmental booklet, 2008).
Disposal:
McDonald’s use the safest and most responsible means of waste disposal available where it failed to apply other steps. To do so, 11 McDonald’s restaurants in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley participating in a pilot scheme, in which waste from the sites will be turned into electricity and heat for local buildings.
If we evaluate the environmental sustainability approaches by the McDonald’s from ethical perspectives it can be seen that, most of the sustainability programs can be regarded as virtuous initiatives. For example, source reduction eliminates or reduces wastes at the point of generation which means less negative impact on environment. At the same time reuse, recycle and disposal activities also help to reduce wastes and generate new source of energy (biodiesel, electricity and heat).

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