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McDonald's to focus on supply chain, energy efficiency in reducing emissions

McDonald's Corp. pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 36% below 2015 levels by 2030 to combat global climate change through the increased use of energy efficiency measures, more sustainable agricultural practices and other efforts across its operations.

The resulting prevention of 150 million tonnes of greenhouse gases is equivalent to removing 32 million passenger cars from the road, the restaurant corporation said in a March 20 news release. The company is also committing to reducing its emissions intensity by 31% across its supply chain with the same baseline year of 2015.

Company President and CEO Steve Easterbrook called the goal ambitious and said McDonald's would source its food responsibly, promote renewable energy and efficiency measures, reduce waste and increase recycling.

Across the McDonald's supply chain, offices and restaurants, the company will encourage innovation and efficiency through improvements such as LED lighting, energy-efficient kitchen equipment, sustainable packaging, restaurant recycling and sustainable agriculture practices. The company will prioritize action in the largest segments of its carbon footprint, specifically beef production, restaurant energy usage and sourcing, packaging and waste. According to the release, these segments account for 64% of the company's global emissions.

The company's announcement included supportive comments from environmental advocacy groups the Environmental Defense Fund and World Wildlife Fund.