In the past decade or so, there has been a major shift in corporate responsibility including organizations’ sustainability efforts. Now, McDonald’s has shifted its efforts in 2014 to start clearly defining their meaning of sustainable beef. They, along with many others in the in the food service industry are focusing on delivering consumers better tasting and better quality foods along with enhanced sustainability efforts.
Why Are Sustainability Efforts so Important?
Sustainability efforts are a part of organizations corporate responsibility. Organizations must meet the needs of consumers to keep them happy and keep their business. McDonald’s defined their prior sustainability efforts as ensuring that their income would exceed their operating expenses to remain in business.
However, consumers weren’t concerned with that. They want quality products, but also want an organization to adhere to moral and environmental values. McDonald’s moved towards the Rainforest Alliance, of which their espresso and fish sandwiches have a certification label from the Marine Stewardship Council, in hopes to enhance loyalty and brand trust with their consumers.
Another important aspect of sustainability efforts for an organization is the ability to help the environment by reducing their carbon footprint. This can be done by wasting less and reducing utility usage. Employees also receive a greater satisfaction with more energy-efficient equipment usage, which addresses employee welfare. Finally, sustainability efforts are used to focus on local sourcing, to help stimulate economy.
Who Are Some of the Major Players Involved with Sustainability Efforts?
There is a lot of talk in the media regarding McDonald’s; however, there are other small and major players involved with prioritizing sustainability efforts in their organizations. For one, Wal-Mart is focusing on bringing a consistent message and setting up a standard of excellence in the cattle industry in 2016. Their new program will also focus on water quality, land stewardship, and reducing feed.
Darden Restaurants, the parent company of popular restaurants, including Red Lobster, Olive Garden, The Capital Grille, and Long Horn Steakhouse, is also committed to sustainability efforts. They state on their websites commitment page that they depend on affordable and available high-quality natural resources and want to enhance their ecosystems.
What Are Some of the Sustainability Efforts with Fast Food Organizations?
The beef industry will focus their sustainability efforts on environmental stewardship, financial viability, and social equality. Many sustainability efforts start with cattle farmers who change the way they raise their stock. They are providing more adequate food, attending to sick animals, and improving land efficiency.
The efforts are to providing an eco-friendly environment by implementing programs such as waste reduction, composting, and conserving water. Restaurants are getting ingredients from local farms, partnering with local companies to produce renewable fuel from their used cooking oil, using menus made from recyclable paper, eliminating bottled water usage, using green cleaning products, and even serving organic wines.
How is Sustainability Measured?
The National Restaurant Association is the go to organization that helps measure sustainability. They in fact have released the first sustainability report, Shedding Light on Sustainability: 2013 Report, which gives environmentally stable trends and initiatives for the restaurant industry. They define sustainability as the reduction of food waste, cost efficient energy solutions, land use, nutritional security, and the protection of wildlife and land quality.
What is the Latest Trend on Sustainability?
As stated, McDonald’s is in the media regarding their sustainable efforts, particularly the latest trend of sustainable beef efforts. They still have not clearly defined what is meant by it, but hopes to by the end of 2016 as well as purchase sustainable beef. It does involve meeting consumer demands as well as being socially responsible in that beef will be produced efficiently, is nutritious, and has a minimal impact on the environment. McDonald’s also hopes to use more beef from the US other than importing from New Zeeland and Australia.