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As of October 22, 2020 Close

Forest Commitment

As a company with global operations and a complex supply chain, we acknowledge that we have an important role to play in eliminating deforestation within our industry and promoting sustainable forest management practices in commodity sourcing around the world.

At Restaurant Brands International, our goal is to eliminate deforestation within our global supply chain. In this pursuit, we support the World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) current definition of deforestation, as follows:

"Deforestation is the conversion of forest to another land use or the long-term reduction of the tree canopy cover. This includes conversion of natural forest to tree plantations, agriculture, pasture, water reservoirs and urban areas but excludes timber production areas managed to ensure the forest regenerates after logging."

As part of our forest commitment, we are working with our approved supply chain suppliers and franchisees towards the following by 2030 or sooner for priority commodities:

  • No deforestation of primary forests

  • No deforestation of areas of High Conservation Value

  • No development of High Carbon Stock forest areas

  • No development on peatlands

  • The respect of human rights as per our Vendor Code

  • The right of all impacted communities to provide or withhold free, prior and informed consent

Our Approach

In support of our commitment, Restaurant Brands International has established goals and activities in several areas, which we will continue to build out in 2020.

Priority commodities:

We concentrate our deforestation-related work on key commodities that are recognized as having greater deforestation risks: beef, palm oil, soy in poultry feed, coffee and fiber-based packaging.

Commodity-specific goals:

We have established responsible sourcing targets for palm oil and fiber-based packaging.

Supply chain engagement:

We are working with our approved suppliers, both through internal engagement and through the CDP’s Supply Chain Forests program, to understand suppliers’ efforts on deforestation and compliance with Restaurant Brands International’s commitment.


We actively participate in the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) and the Roundtable on Responsible Soy, which both work to address deforestation in their respective commodity chains.

Identifying solutions and tools:

We are currently assessing tools to support monitoring of compliance with our forest commitment and for us to integrate sustainability criteria into our procurement approval process.

Supplier Engagement

As a demonstration of our commitment to forests and our vision to eliminate deforestation within our supply chain, Restaurant Brands International is proud to be a founding member of the CDP Supply Chain – Forests program. Through this program, we are working toward an industry movement to benchmark four key forest commodities – cattle products, palm oil, timber products and soy. By asking approved vendors to disclose information through their participation in the CDP survey on these commodities and how they are managing risks related to deforestation, we are taking a meaningful step toward increasing transparency in our own supply chain and the broader business community. Participation by our vendors in this program will allow us to proactively identify opportunities to build and better manage a more resilient supply chain.

During the program’s 2017 pilot year, we were one of eight organizations that worked with the CDP to request information from vendors including strategies for measuring and monitoring the use of key forest commodities in order to benchmark disclosure, activities and opportunities related to reducing deforestation. In 2018, we expanded our engagement efforts by reaching out to a broader group of suppliers, representing about 80% of our global spend in our priority commodities, including beef, packaging, palm oil and chicken and continued in this regard for 2019, requesting disclosures from 141 of our suppliers.

We will formalize the monitoring of supplier deforestation policies along with the 2020 update of our quality assurance system, enabling us to integrate such criteria in our procurement decisions. Despite challenges around direct line of sight, we are engaging with first-tier suppliers to request stronger traceability information for feed from their supply chains.

Restaurant Brands International’s life-cycle assessment (LCA) will be conducted in 2020. Combined with the information gathered through CDP and our internal supplier-engagement efforts, this will support the development and implementation of our supplier improvement programs in 2020 and put us in line with the ISO 20400 guidance on sustainable procurement.

We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively within our supply chain, through global roundtables and with other organizations to identify opportunities and solutions in order to move closer towards the elimination of deforestation.

Protecting the Amazon

The Amazon is of crucial importance to the earth’s biodiversity. It’s believed to be home to 10% of the world’s known species1 and many of them are unique to this region. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 20% of the Amazon biome has already been lost and 27% of the biome will be without trees if by 2030 if the current rate of deforestation continues2. Increased agriculture, particularly cattle ranching and soy plantations, is putting pressure on this precious ecosystem. As animal proteins represent a significant portion of our supply chain, Restaurant Brands International and the wider food industry have a critical role to play.

Currently, all approved suppliers of beef sourced from Brazil maintain active policies on zero deforestation in the Amazon Biome. Many of such approved suppliers have also shared independent verification of their deforestation free credentials at our request. Additionally, approved chicken suppliers sourcing from farms located in Brazil have confirmed that they do not source raw materials or feed from the Amazon Biome. Many of our beef suppliers have shared independent verification of their deforestation free credentials at our request. As we evolve our sustainable procurement system in 2020, such assurance will be an important component of our supplier assessments.

1, 2: WWF 2019.

Responsible Protein Sourcing

We are a member of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), and in 2019 we developed our first responsible sourcing target for beef based on GRSB principles. Learn more about beef sustainability and our responsible sourcing approach here.

Responsible Soy and Traceability

Knowing the origin of inputs to our products and being able to trace this through the supply chain is fundamental when it comes to deforestation, in order to attempt to validate that these inputs were not sourced from deforested areas. A key ingredient in animal feed, we recognize soy has high deforestation risk when sourced from certain regions. The lack of and complexity of traceability for soy as animal feed and its link to deforestation is a key concern across the food sector.

Although Restaurant Brands International brands do not directly source the feed for beef or poultry, we are committed to working with approved suppliers who share our goal of eliminating deforestation and advancing solutions that can serve the industry as a whole. We have recently joined the Roundtable on Responsible Soy to better understand the latest efforts within the industry on traceability of soy as animal feed and play an active role in challenging suppliers to develop the traceability of soy industry-wide.

Sustainable Palm Oil

Palm oil is another commodity with high deforestation risk when sourced from certain regions, and as such we have prioritized it as a key commodity where we will concentrate our efforts.

We continue to work with our approved suppliers to source palm oil that does not contribute to deforestation nor the development on peatlands, and protects both High Conservation Value and High Carbon Stock areas, and have set specific targets for sourcing sustainable palm oil.

In 2018, 34% of palm oil directly sourced was from Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)-certified sources.

By the end of 2020, all palm oil directly sourced as well as palm oil and palm kernel oil used as an ingredient in our branded products will be from approved suppliers who can verify sustainable production. This commitment is detailed in our Palm Oil Sourcing Policy, found here.

Approved palm oil suppliers are required to be members of RSPO and to have a transition plan in place aligned to this commitment. We are actively engaging our suppliers to work towards achieving our 2020 commitment.

Fiber-Based Packaging

Our commitment is to source fiber-based packaging from certified or recycled sources by 2021, for all brands. Burger King and Tim Hortons achieved this goal globally in 2019. Popeyes shares this commitment and is working towards achieving this goal by 2021.

In Canada and the United States, all Burger King and Tim Hortons fiber-based packaging vendors are sourcing board and/or paper from paper mills certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Forest Stewardship Council, or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, ensuring that the fiber-based packaging we use in our restaurants is sourced from certified sustainably-managed forests.

In Europe, all Burger King and Tim Hortons packaging vendors are chain of custody certified, meeting a Forest Stewardship Council or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification standard on handling and tracking forest fiber throughout the entire supply chain.

Learn more about other sustainable sourcing in our supply chain: