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Sustainability through Restaurant Design

In order to help us and our restaurant owners reduce energy and water footprints, we have developed design standards that incorporate the use of leading industry products and practices in both new restaurants and updates to our existing locations. Continuing innovations in areas such as lighting, water systems, cooking equipment and menu displays allow us to lessen our impact on the environment while simultaneously improving the guest experience in our restaurants.

Waste Reduction

Reducing waste throughout our operations continues to be a key area of focus, for both our corporate facilities and across our restaurants. Waste management is a complex and constantly evolving field, and we recognize that variations in waste and recycling services between countries – and even between neighbouring cities – means that there needs to be many and effective solutions rather than a one-size-fits-all approach. Through improved packaging practices, diversion of waste and support of communities in waste reduction efforts, we continue to seek out new initiatives and more effective ways to reduce, reuse and recycle, and therefore limit our environmental impact.

Code of Business Ethics and Conduct for Vendors

To ensure our vendors observe the same philosophy in their actions and relationships that affect Restaurant Brands International and its brands, we have established the Restaurant Brands International Code of Business Ethics and Conduct for Vendors (the "Vendor Code"). The Vendor Code communicates our requirements and expectations with respect to business integrity and sustainability, with regulatory compliance being a minimum standard of doing business with us. Upon request, vendors are required to provide clear, timely and accurate reporting to our organization regarding the origins and facilities within their supply chain to demonstrate their compliance with the Vendor Code.

In addition to the principles and requirements outlined in our Vendor Code, we are committed to improving our supply chain through a variety of commitments including those related to animal welfare, antibiotics and forests.

Forest Commitment

As a company with global operations and a complex supply chain, we acknowledge that we have a role to play in eliminating deforestation within our industry and promoting sustainable forest management practices across commodities 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 will work with our supply chain partners towards the following by 2030 or sooner for priority commodities, including beef, soy and coffee:

  • 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
  • Respecting human rights as per our Vendor Code
  • The right of all impacted communities to provide or withhold free, prior and informed consent

It is our intention to report regularly on our progress toward eliminating deforestation. In support of our goal, Restaurant Brands International has established targets for palm oil and fiber-based packaging.



Coffee Beans

Sourcing and Verification

While the process a coffee bean takes from first harvest to last sip can be complex, the Tim Hortons® brand is committed to strengthening its approach and commitment to ethically sourcing coffee, and supporting the people, places and partners across its coffee supply chain.

Tim Hortons verifies detailed compliance with our Vendor Code, confirming that our coffee is ethically sourced using third-party verification every three years and self-audits for the years in between.

Key areas of verification include:

  • Compliance with Laws and Industry Standards
  • Business ethics (including bribery and corruption and conflicts of interest)
  • Wages and benefits
  • Working hours
  • Forced Labour
  • Child Labour
  • Health and Safety
  • Freedom of Association

Animal Welfare Approach

Animal welfare is an issue of importance for us and our stakeholders, including our restaurant owners, vendors and guests. Throughout the global supply chain, our commitment is to improve animal welfare.

In providing high quality, safe food to our guests, we believe that we also have a responsibility to ensure the health and welfare of farm animals. While we are not directly involved in the raising, handling, transportation or processing of animals, we consider animal welfare to begin on the farm and to apply to all aspects of farm animal care within our supply chain.

In addition to a mandatory requirement for vendors to meet local applicable laws, regulations and Codes of practice, the Five Freedoms provides the context for our work on improving the welfare of animals in our global supply chain:

  1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst
  2. Freedom from Discomfort
  3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease
  4. Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour
  5. Freedom from Fear and Distress

While we recognize that there are many important welfare issues, we have begun by addressing those practices that contravene the Five Freedoms where we feel we can have an impact, such as:

  • Close confinement
  • Breeding for single (production) attributes that cause poor welfare outcomes
  • Barren environments that restrict normal behavior
  • Routine painful procedures where management options exist. Where no management options exist, procedures done without pain mitigation
  • Routine use of antibiotics and other growth promotants sub therapeutically to speed growth and mitigate poor conditions

Restaurant Brands International will work with our current vendors to develop action plans to address these practices and wherever possible we will favour vendors that provide better welfare. As of 2018, both the Tim Hortons® and the Burger King® brands have fulfilled the commitment in North America to only source chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine.

We recognize the need for continuous improvement with respect to animal welfare and are committed to the ongoing evaluation of best practices within the industry, our supply chain and others.


Beef Sustainability

As a member of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), we endorse their definition and core principles of sustainable beef* as follows:

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef defines sustainable beef as a socially responsible, environmentally sound and economically viable product that prioritizes Planet (relevant principles: Natural Resources, Efficiency and Innovation, People and the Community); People (relevant principles: People and the Community and Food); Animals (relevant principle: Animal Health and Welfare); and Progress (relevant principles: Natural Resources, People and the Community, Animal Health and Welfare, Food, Efficiency and Innovation).

In support of beef sustainability, we are engaging beef vendors representing 80% of our supply to support their participation in the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (or a similar initiative) and the integration of GRSB principles/criteria into supplier sustainability programs.

Further, by 2020, we will ensure that specific sustainability criteria based on GRSB principles will be developed and implemented to support the supplier selection and management process in our supply chain.

The CRSB Sustainable Beef Framework

The Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB), is a not-for-profit, collaborative, multi-stakeholder organization focused on advancing sustainability in the Canadian beef industry. The CRSB is also a member of the GRSB, and its main areas of work include Sustainability Benchmarking, a Certification Framework and Sustainability Projects.

As an active member of the CRSB, we are proud to have contributed to their efforts to advance beef sustainability. In late 2017, the CRSB launched the much-anticipated Certified Sustainable Beef Framework. This framework is the first of its kind in the world and was developed over two years with input from the multi-stakeholder membership of the CRSB. The mission of this voluntary Framework is to drive the advancement and recognition of beef sustainability in Canada through a world class operation-level certification program.