While the road to sustainable beef is complex, we believe it is possible to achieve success. There are many best practices for beef sustainability, and we see momentum building to achieve our goal of purchasing sustainable beef.
A Diverse, Worldwide Industry
Each part of the beef industry is owned by a different entity and operates independently, with practices unique to its role in the supply chain. For instance, McDonald's beef suppliers, abattoirs, and patty processors do not own farms. They use a variety of different approved practices. And, diverse types of cattle make up the world's beef supply.
Improving Environmental Impacts
Some aspects of beef production can be positive for our planet, such as when well-managed pasturelands support biodiverse habitats. However, we recognize the negative impacts of certain practices, like overgrazing, and the effects on climate change. In 2013, we calculated McDonald's carbon footprint using a widely recognized life cycle analysis approach. The analysis extended from farm to fork across our worldwide supply chain and restaurants. We found that about 70% of our greenhouse gas emission impacts are in our supply chain, and of those, around 40% are related to beef. Even though our purchases represent less than 2% of the total beef and dairy industry, we are working with other end users and the broader beef industry to address this important topic.