Forests play a vital role in creating oxygen and absorbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. People, plants and animals also rely on forests for food, fresh water, shelter and other essential resources. Yet forests and other areas of high conservation value remain under threat. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, 18 million acres of forest – an area equivalent to the size of Ireland – are being destroyed each year.
When we fail to protect forests, climate change effects worsen, critical biodiversity is lost and livelihoods and human rights are threatened – as are the natural ecosystems that we all rely on for the food we eat. Which is why supporting deforestation-free supply chains and promoting forests as a climate solution is not just our responsibility, it's core to our business.
McDonald’s has been on a journey to support sustainable food production and conserve forests for decades. As a global business, we set ourselves the goal of eliminating deforestation in our priority supply chains for our beef, chicken (including soy in feed), palm oil, coffee and the fibre used in guest packaging by 2020. We recognise that we have more work to do, particularly on soy. That’s why McDonald’s UK & Ireland are accelerating progress in this area and are committing to soy used as an ingredient and in the animal feed across our supply chains to be deforestation-free by 2026. We acknowledge that in order to meet this ambitious commitment we will need to continue to collaborate to address underlying causes of deforestation.
McDonald’s Global was recognised as a “Leader” and top performing Quick Service Restaurant company in the 2019 Global Canopy Forest 500 report
Our strategy is based on three pillars: Innovate, Illustrate and Influence.
We recognise that soy plays an important role in providing a nutritious feed source to animals - but there is increasing innovation to deliver more sustainable alternatives. We encourage and support suppliers to reduce and replace soy in animal diets. And we are committed to investing in order to accelerate research contributing to the development of alternative protein sources, such as insects and algae.
We are committed to mapping our footprint and tracking progress against our goal. We know that the majority of soy used in our supply chain is in animal feed. While the soy sourced to feed chickens grown for McDonald’s in the UK & Ireland currently supports deforestation-free supply chains, we want to go further. We are committed to creating action plans with our suppliers to deliver against our ambition to support fully traceable deforestation-free soy across our supply chains by 2026*.
We know that the underlying causes driving deforestation are complex and larger than any one company can address alone, which is why we will collaborate within and beyond our supply chain to drive transformational change. For example, we are members of the UK Roundtable on Sustainable Soy, a collaboration between the UK government and Industry. Through the Roundtable, companies and industry associations work together to achieve a shared goal of supporting sustainable, resilient supplies of soya for the UK which are legal and cultivated in a way that protects against conversion of forests and valuable native vegetation.
Find more information on our Commitment on Forests here.
* Product scope includes soy sourced for feed of livestock used in McDonald's products. It also includes soy used directly as an ingredient in McDonald's products.