McDonald’s launches The Climate Clarity Guide to help customers cut through climate jargon


McDonald’s launches The Climate Clarity Guide to help customers cut through climate jargon

The new guide comes as research reveals confusing climate language stops people engaging on the environment

  • 42% say they’d be more likely to do something to protect the environment if simpler, less confusing language was used
  • 63% of people feel the amount of climate jargon is increasing
  • 45% of people think the language used around sustainability and the environment makes it hard for them to follow what is going on
  • 52% of parents struggle to answer their children’s questions on the environment
  • New guide by McDonald’s aims to give people simple definitions to de-bunk climate terms and make them easier to understand

Today [14th October] McDonald’s launches a new FREE guide designed to help its customers understand the most confusing climate change terminology.

It comes after new research by McDonald’s reveals nearly two thirds of people (63%)* think the amount of jargon being used to describe climate change is increasing, yet 42% say they’d be more likely to do something to protect the environment if simpler, less confusing language was used. Nearly a third (32%) of people switch off when they hear or read jargon used around sustainability and the environment

According to the research, most people (86%) have heard of the term ‘Net Zero’ but nearly a third (28%) don’t know what it means and nearly two thirds (59%) have heard never of the term climate resilience.  

Confusion across the dinner table

With the environment being a big focus in schools, 61%** of parents say they are often asked to explain words around sustainability and the environment, but over half (56%)** struggle to answer their children’s’ questions. 62% of people believe their family would engage much more in the climate challenge if the language used by was simpler to understand.

Over two thirds (67%) of those aged 65 and over are looking for more information about complex climate change words and phrases.

Available to download from the McDonald’s website, The Climate Clarity Guide has been developed in partnership with experts to provide simple explanations for some of the most complicated language and misunderstood terms. It includes the UK’s top 15 most confusing terms - including biodiversity, decarbonisation, food sovereignty and regenerative agriculture.

The new guide supports McDonald’s recently launched new climate commitments – Plan for Change, which sets out its aim of net zero emissions across its entire UK & Ireland business by 2040. The Climate Clarity Guide is one of the ways McDonald’s is helping its customers do more to help look after the planet – because the more people understand, the more they can do to help.

Beth Hart, VP for Supply Chain and Brand Trust at McDonald’s, said: “We all know that we need to do more to look after each other and our planet. Talking about climate change in simple terms might seem like something small, but it can make a big difference. Rightly, there is a lot of talk about the environment and sustainability - but with so much complicated language it’s easy for people to switch off. We hope The Climate Clarity Guide will help people to feel more comfortable talking about climate change.”

The Climate Clarity Guide was developed in partnership with Duncan Williamson, former Head of Food at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Compassion in World Farming

to provide clear explanations for the most misunderstood terms.

The 15 climate terms people in the UK said they find the most confusing are:

1.    Biodiversity

2.    Carbon capture

3.    Carbon offsetting

4.    Climate resilience

5.    Carbon neutrality

6.    Decarbonisation

7.    Food sovereignty

8.    Greenwashing

9.    Nature-based solutions

10. Net zero

11. Regenerative agriculture

12. Science-based targets

13. Scope 1,2,3 carbon emissions

14. Sustainable agriculture

15. Zero carbon

Download the guide for from the McDonalds’ website:

To find out more on the Plan for Change, visit:


Notes to editors

For more information contact:

*Quantitative survey carried out by Vision One. Research carried out between 23rd July and 29th July 2021 to 2,000 members of the general public.

** parents with children aged 5-10.


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