McDonalds Environmental Issues

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  1. Introduction

There is evidence of corporate sustainability, which is a balance of economic, social, and environment as a necessity for business (Dyllick and Hockerts, 2002). Additionally, companies caring about their environmental issue will not only benefit the environment but also the company itself. Consumers show preferences for green products and are willing to pay a premium price thus improve revenues (Peattie, 2001). While dealing with environmental impacts, corporates may find ways to reduce their costs and waste. Reputation could be earned at the same time (Bansal and Roth, 2000).

As one of the world's largest fast food chains, McDonald’s is criticized by environmentalists with many problems. It is vital for McDonald’s to identify its key issues and provide solutions. In this essay, McDonald’s impact on global warming and packaging waste as well as it responses will be discussed. Then, recommendations are drawn.

    The main issue of McDonald’s negative impact on the environment is global warming resulting from greenhouse gas emissions from cows as well as damaging the rainforest for raising beef cattle and grains. For one thing, methane emitted from cattle is a major contributor of global warming. McDonald’s, as one of the world’s largest buyer of beef, is using 350000 cattle a year. With so many cows farting all day, they could produce a considerable amount of greenhouse gas. In the UK for example, 4% of the carbon emissions are the gas emitted by livestock (Day, 2010). For another, McDonald’s is causing the deforestation in the rain forest. McDonald’s often buys meats for its burgers from privatized farms. These privatized farms, however, are being blamed for not environmentally because the farmland they used to rear the cattle used to be a lush rainforest (Ecologist, 2010). In addition, trees in the rainforest are cut down for agricultural to grow grain for the livestock and poultry (Chew, 2001). According to Greenpeace, McDonald’s feed the chickens with the soybeans grown in the Amazon rainforest because those soybeans are cheaper (Astor, 2006). Therefore, McDonald’s is not only responsible for greenhouse gas emissions but destroying forests, which could help to address global warming.

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