We believe a net zero world where waste is a thing of the past is possible – so we are reimagining our restaurants to make this just part of our every day.

 

Net zero standard restaurants

Our commitment and goals

We will aim to transition all our restaurants to a UK industry net zero emissions standard from construction to use.

Icon of a digger above the date 2022.
Icon of tables and chairs above the date 2023.
Icon of a McDonald's restaurant above the date 2030.

Being sustainable for the future means making sure all our restaurants are net zero in line with the UKGBC Net Zero Emissions Standard and the SBTi net zero criteria. We are starting with our new build freehold restaurants. By 2022, we will have a blueprint for new build restaurants to use low carbon materials and construction processes.

We’re proud to be opening our first restaurant certified to the UKGBC Net Zero Emissions Standard in 2021 in Market Drayton. As we refurbish our existing restaurants, we will aim to bring them up to a UK industry net zero standard for operation, keeping us on track to meet our ambition to reach net zero emissions in restaurants and offices by 2030, and our overall goal of reaching net zero emissions in the UK and Ireland by 2040.

All the electricity we purchase for our UK and Irish restaurants is already 100% renewable from wind and solar sources. We are investing in renewable electricity plants through the use of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). We stop used cooking oil from going to waste by transforming it into fuel that powers our delivery lorries, topped up with biodiesel from other sustainable sources, where necessary.

We want to keep our customers moving sustainably too, providing charging points for electric cars.

Child smiling and having fun on a playground.
Interior of a McDonald's restaurant.

The people behind our Plan

“Our Market Drayton Restaurant is an exciting testing ground to put into practice what a net zero building, both in build and in use, looks like. From the materials used throughout the build process to how it’s powered, along with creating new areas of natural habitat to enhance the biodiversity of the site and local area, we’re bringing together skills and expertise from across McDonald’s and the partners we work with.”

Gareth Hudson FCIOB, Construction Director, McDonald’s UK & Ireland 

Picture of construction director Gareth.
Picture of construction director Gareth.

“Our Market Drayton Restaurant is an exciting testing ground to put into practice what a net zero building, both in build and in use, looks like. From the materials used throughout the build process to how it’s powered, along with creating new areas of natural habitat to enhance the biodiversity of the site and local area, we’re bringing together skills and expertise from across McDonald’s and the partners we work with.”

Gareth Hudson FCIOB, Construction Director, McDonald’s UK & Ireland 

Picture of construction director Gareth.
Picture of construction director Gareth.

Closing the loop on waste

Our commitment and goals

We will create a circular system where our packaging and waste has a second life.

Green recycle icon above the date 2024.
Green infinity icon above the date 2027.
Drinks cup icon with red arrows above the date 2030.

We believe that the future of materials is circular and that we need to close the loop on waste. Our big goal is to make sure that, by 2027, McDonald’s restaurant waste is given a second life so that nothing is truly wasted – instead it is recycled, reused or composted.

When it comes to our packaging we consider what it’s made of and what happens to it after it has protected our food. None of the materials we use in our packaging will be from finite resources, and all our primary customer packaging will be recyclable in every restaurant by 2024.

We’re also developing reusable packaging for our restaurants and helping to bring packaging back to life again in fun and useful ways, such as recycling paper cups into reusable cups. We minimise food waste through our smart systems and, where we do have extra food, we are donating it to people in need.

Two young children reading a book together.
Two young children reading a book together.

Happy Meal toys are now hard plastic-free

From 2021, every Happy Meal in the UK and Ireland will include either a soft toy, paper-based toy or book, as we continue to reduce our environmental impact across the business. This commitment will remove over 3,000 tonnes of plastic from the business in 2021. And we’re collecting old Happy Meal toys and recycling them into playgrounds. We have committed to donating a playground to every Ronald McDonald House.

Two young children reading a book together.
Two young children reading a book together.

Happy Meal toys are now hard plastic-free

From 2021, every Happy Meal in the UK and Ireland will include either a soft toy, paper-based toy or book, as we continue to reduce our environmental impact across the business. This commitment will remove over 3,000 tonnes of plastic from the business in 2021. And we’re collecting old Happy Meal toys and recycling them into playgrounds. We have committed to donating a playground to every Ronald McDonald House.

Reimagining packaging 

We’re helping to keep waste out of nature by reducing our packaging and switching to more sustainable materials that can be recycled or composted.

Paper packaging McFlurry and Salad icon.
Paper cutlery icon.
Drinks cup icon.
Recycling three arrows icon.
Three water bottles icon.
Picture of a salad in a paper box with a drink next to it.
Paper McCafe cup.

The people behind our Plan

Tim Duret

“We know that the key to sustainability is collaboration. So, we’ve been working on innovative recycling solutions with McDonald’s to reduce and transform the waste from their restaurants and help speed up the transition to closing the loop on their materials.”

Tim Duret, Director of Sustainable Technology, Veolia (McDonald’s UK&I waste management partner)

Picture of Sustainable Technology director at Veolia, Tim.
Picture of Sustainable Technology director at Veolia, Tim.

Tim Duret

“We know that the key to sustainability is collaboration. So, we’ve been working on innovative recycling solutions with McDonald’s to reduce and transform the waste from their restaurants and help speed up the transition to closing the loop on their materials.”

Tim Duret, Director of Sustainable Technology, Veolia (McDonald’s UK&I waste management partner)

Picture of Sustainable Technology director at Veolia, Tim.
Picture of Sustainable Technology director at Veolia, Tim.

Our partnerships with WRAP

Through WRAP we are partners of The Courtauld Commitment, the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap and The UK Plastics Pact.

Wrap partenrships logo.
Wrap partenrships logo.

Our partnerships with WRAP

Through WRAP we are partners of The Courtauld Commitment, the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap and The UK Plastics Pact.

Wrap partenrships logo.
Wrap partenrships logo.
Orange graphic with pictures of potatoes, staff, burgers and restaurants in shapes.
Orange graphic with pictures of potatoes, staff, burgers and restaurants in shapes.

 

Our long-term goals in full

See the details behind our Plan.

Orange graphic with pictures of potatoes, staff, burgers and restaurants in shapes.
Orange graphic with pictures of potatoes, staff, burgers and restaurants in shapes.

 

Our long-term goals in full

See the details behind our Plan.

*Annual reduction in material compared to 2020

** Change made in 2021 in Republic of Ireland and 2022 in the UK