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With the increasing focus on social and environmental issues, the concept of CSR i.e. Corporate Social Responsibility has gained more recognition. This becomes more important when a firm is dealing with products that have an effect on consumer's health. Since the issues are directly relevant to McDonalds, it becomes essential for brands to focus on corporate social responsibility. It can be considered as corporate necessity, which every company needs to perform in order to sustain in the market.
Since long time, fast food industry has been facing numerous issues concerning obesity and health. Being the key player in the industry, McDonalds has been held guilty for causing health related problems such as obesity. Taking such allegations into consideration, the fast food chain has changed its menu and thereby included more healthy food options, while serving its core products like burgers and fries. Apart from including healthy products in a menu, McDonalds has also incorporated the concept of CSR in its business activities. The company has included various healthier options in its menu in addition with nutritional and other health related information to show its concerns for health issues and obesity. It is also working to reduce sugar, saturated fats, artificial trans-fat and sodium in its food items. Furthermore, the food chain has started using buns that are made with whole grains. McDonalds is undertaking several initiatives to communicate messages of healthy lifestyle to public and making them aware about its significance.
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The company has made several collaborations with NGO’s such as Nutritionist Steering Group Europe, Global Advisory Council for Balanced Active Lifestyle as well as Green Peace in order to make society aware about its efforts in promoting balanced and active lifestyle. McDonalds is also working to explore new ways to enhance nutritional education among the people and hence it has collaborated with Alliance for Healthier Generation to develop CGI i.e. Clinton Global Initiatives. Through this partnership, the company is committed to offer vegetables, salads, fruits and low-fat dairy products in its menu. Being a global fast food chain, the company is also aware of diverse cultural environment and food preferences in which it operates. Therefore, it has formulated flexible menus that look for locally appropriate ways to enhance nutritional profiles.
The company makes continuous efforts in enhancing its environmental and social performance. Together independent restaurant franchisees and its suppliers, McDonalds are striving towards a sustainable future for both the company as well as the society in which it operates. The company is focused on continuous improvement in addressing social, environmental and economic issues. In addition, the company has also launched a CSR-focused marketing strategy that features a series of ethical initiatives it will undertake. The strategy focuses on McDonald’s initiatives for the community and the environment, its investment in human resource as well as messages related to quality food.
McDonalds has also collaborated with its suppliers and initiated Agricultural Assurance Programme, with an intention to minimize environmental impacts caused because of its supply network. The company has also helped found Ronald McDonald House Charities, an ongoing global network that provides care and comfort to underprivileged children and families. The food chain has also taken various steps to raise awareness about cleanliness. Through Anti-littering programme, McDonalds is leading the way to a cleaner environment. The company is also making continuous efforts in reducing waste and recycling it.
McDonalds gives equal importance to sustainable sourcing. Considering the need of growing population and increasing scarce resources, the company has begun sourcing its ingredients and food packaging sustainable. McDonalds is committed to promote resource efficiency, protect oceans and eco-systems, support land management, fishing and farming in order to make necessary resources available to future generations. The company maintains sustainable supply chain management through three E’s namely Environment, Ethics and Economics. McDonalds takes serious concern for influencing and incorporating these three elements at every level of its supply chain, i.e. raw material production, processing and distribution. The company collaborates with its suppliers to innovate and use sustainable ingredients, ensuring proper safety and quality of food, and protect human rights at the workplace. For this, it has created various food standards and principles for measuring sustainable ingredients. In addition, the fast food chain also focuses on reducing kilometres driven, optimizing transportation routes, and improves fuel and energy efficiency for delivery of food to restaurants. The company also works with its distributors to implement daylight-controlled lighting, heat-recovery systems, and rapid rolling gates with an intention tom minimize consumption of fuel and energy. The company also aims at augmenting sustainable packaging of its food through responsible sourcing and appropriate product design. Most of its packaging its fiber-based, as well, McDonalds has also eliminated the use of plastic for packing with a view to ensure sustainable packaging.
Over the past many years, McDonalds’s global operations have been considering a long-term strategic framework named as Play to Win which focuses on five elements necessary for outstanding customer experience as well as sustainable growth; it includes People, Products, Price, Place and Promotion. The brand lays equal emphasis on all these elements in order to ensure best work practices, better performance, and sustainable growth and development. In context with McDonald’s responsibilities towards its employees, the company believes in creating safe, respectful and healthy working conditions, diversity, effective management policies and practices, and equal participation. Food safety is central to the company’s mission and values. Therefore, it conducts regular training programs for restaurant chefs, managers and crew members make them understand range of critical food safety measures and procedure for proper food preparation and delivery. Besides this, the brand has also introduced “School for Adults” programme, which provide employees who intend to gain higher education and diplomas, an opportunity to get free education. This in turn expands job opportunities for employees and encourages them to work for better position.
Being a responsible corporate entity, McDonalds has done an exceptional job in undertaking its CSR initiatives. Through various programs, campaigns and charities, the company has contributed significantly in developing the community as well as protecting the environment.