If you’re not sustainable, you’re late to the game. In fact, very late. It's what people want - and it's where their money is going. In fact, a recent study found that the majority of people are willing to pay more for fast food sold in sustainable materials.
Fast food restaurants, otherwise known as quick service restaurants (QSR), are now expected to be involved in sustainability efforts. #GoingGreen is now the only way to go. Here are 7 QSR brands that are leading the industry in their sustainability efforts:
- McDonald’s. As one of the biggest players in the business, any sustainability effort will have a significant impact on the environment. In 2018, they announced that they aim to reduce at least 36% emissions by 2030. Globally , its franchises are making a difference too. Singapore has five restaurants with the Building Construction Authority (BCA) Green Mark Award which means that the building had a number of innovative energy and water saving features incorporated into the design. In Berlin, edible sauce holders were also tested to reduce waste.
- Subway. Over the last few years, Subway has ramped up its sustainability efforts. They source for their ingredients from environmentally friendly farmers. In 2019, they even announced a partnership with Cornell’s M.B.A. Program to tap into the innovative minds of the next generation of sustainability leaders to help further their commitment to reduce waste in the American restaurant network.
- KFC. Last January, they announced a new global sustainability commitment that all plastic-based, consumer-facing packaging will be recoverable or reusable by 2025. Restaurants in Singapore have stopped providing plastic straws and cup lids. They have also pledged to reduce the average energy consumed per restaurant energy and greenhouse gas emissions by an additional 10% by the end of 2025.
- Taco Bell. They made a commitment to make all its packaging compostable and recyclable by 2025. Meanwhile, they have pledged to continue to be the top fast food chain for vegetarians. For instance, a dedicated vegetarian menu with items certified by the American Vegetarian Association was launched nationally. In doing so, they also provide more options for meat eaters to consume and in turn promotes the decreased consumption of meat.
- Chick-fil-A. Late last year, Chick-fil-A launched its new sustainable bowls to hold their food. The usage of the new bowls will help Chick-fil-A reduce its national plastic use by 8.5 million lbs annually. Furthermore, the fast food chain is also involved in composting and transforming the way Chick-fil-A restaurants are built to make them more environmentally friendly.
- Starbucks. The global coffee chain has set a goal doubling its recycled content, as well as the compostability and reusability of their cups by 2022. In addition, they also pledged to eliminate plastic straws in their stores globally by 2020. More eco-conscious stores which are more energy and water efficient are being built around the world using responsible materials.
- Pizza Hut. In 2015, Pizza Hut was recognized by China’s Ministry of Environmental Protection for its commitment to reducing its environmental footprint and awarded the China Environmental Prize. The brand’s emphasis on sustainability is not just confined to China. In the UK, complete waste separation was implemented in Scotland to ensure that recyclable materials are not mixed up with non-recyclables. In Mongolia, sustainable building design elements such as high-efficiency kitchen equipment.
Nigel is not just a marketer at Workstream, he is also a graduate of Psychology and Marketing of Singapore Management University. He has multiple experiences in various areas of marketing - advertising, email marketing, and content writing. Fun fact, prior to joining Workstream, he took a semester off school to intern at SAP in Brazil.