McDonald’s has taken a revolutionary step towards sustainability by becoming the first ever quick service restaurant to recycle the used cooking oil to produce biodiesel which is later used to fuel their trucks. The company is taking aggressive steps towards environmental consciousness and has recently come up with various changes, most significant of which was this.
The Hardcastle Restaurants Private Limited (HRPL) is McDonald’s master franchisee in the west and south India has confirmed that they are committed to convert 4.5 lakh liters of cooking oil annually into biodiesel. The oil is used to power 20 o 25 trucks of the company that makes trips to more than 275 restaurants across the region carrying supplies from the distribution centers. The director of national supply chain and quality assurance, Vikram Ogale confirmed this on Monday.
The initiative was started a year ago on a pilot basis in Mumbai and has scaled since then and now it is a full-fledged operation. More than half the stores are involved in the process and the target is to meet 275 restaurants of McDonald’s (West & South).
This is a big plan because to meet the target of 275 restaurants McDonald’s India will have to increase production by 67% to 7.5 lakh liters in a year. This will mean addition of another 20 to 25 trucks could be added to the service. In the long term the company plans to scale up the initiative to up to 500 stores in the next four years in both west and south region of India, considering the production of biodiesel also increases consequently.
Further talking about the sustainability project, Ogale mentioned that the company is working towards a partnership with local player called Unicom Biofuels who are in the business of converting cooking oil into biodiesel. He said that the company has been working with them since the past one year in the initiative. The investment going into the process is not yet been discussed, however adding the initiative in their distribution channel.
This can prove to be a revolutionary initiative, since it has the potential to pull in other big players in the restaurant industry to follow suit. As the need to protect is growing and the ethos of a company is judged on their responsibility towards the environment, the initiative can prove to be extremely helpful.
Meanwhile, the company has also ramped up their efforts to reduce the consumption of plastic in their restaurants in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra, after the ban of plastic in the region. The effort was done by introducing paper containers, straws and plates and also glass bottles and steel lunch boxes.
In the recent years McDonald’s has upped their ante on multiple sustainable initiatives in the country by introducing sourcing fresh food straight from the farms as well as reducing sodium in salt, saturated fat and oil on its menu.
This effort of biofuel comes from the global target of McDonald’s which includes the plans to reduce the lowering carbon emissions per metric tonne of food and packaging by 31% by 2030.