Everyone knows something about McDonald’s, noted Genna Gent, Government Relations Vice President, Global Public Policy for McDonald’s, but they may not know about the company’s climate and sustainability journey over the last decade. They are a big company–65 million daily customers–which means that they can make big changes with small movements. Gent explained how they set a science-based target for emissions, changed Happy Meal toy manufacturing to reduce 65,000 tons of plastic, set a commitment to reach net zero by 2050, and developed a 15-year deal to provide solar power to 1,200 restaurants.
Change is not always linear, continued Gent, so the company focuses on three major areas to make change: 1. Making changes across industries thanks to the company’s scale; 2. Working with franchisees and owners to encourage more sustainable practices; and, 3. Collaborating with stakeholders on science-based targets. The collaboration between the public and private sectors can be wildly powerful, and McDonald’s is happy to share the story of its journey.
“Our intention is not just to be big, our intention is to make big changes.”
Genna Gent, Government Relations Vice President, Global Public Policy, McDonald’s