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Climate change is undoubtedly one of the most pressing issues facing our society, and the food and agriculture industry plays a major role in contributing to emissions. In fact, according to the IPCC, agriculture accounts for 10-12% of all human-induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and contributes to about 47% and 58% of total human-induced emissions of methane and nitrous oxide respectively. As a major global food industry player, we realize that we share responsibility for the impact of the food and agriculture industry when it comes to climate change.

Our Approach

Restaurant Brands International (RBI) and our brands are embracing that responsibility, and aim to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions from our business by our fair share.

To that end, we’re currently developing our first GHG emissions reduction target as well as a roadmap to reducing our impacts. To achieve this, for the first time at RBI, we measured our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, performed our first Lifecycle Assessment of food, beverage and packaging categories globally, and using this combined data, calculated our total company GHG footprint.

Scope 1 and 2 represents RBI-owned operations: Scope 1 is direct emissions from fuels and refrigerants by RBI facilities and vehicles; Scope 2 is indirect emissions from electricity and steam used by RBI facilities and vehicles. We measured this via internal RBI data, and learned this makes up <1% of our total footprint, driven by distribution centers and restaurants.

Scope 3 represents all indirect emissions from franchises and the RBI value chain. We measured this via the above-mentioned Lifecycle Assessment as well as franchisee data, and learned that this makes up >99% of our total footprint, driven by franchise energy making up 15% of Scope 3 emissions, and purchased goods & services making up 82% of Scope 3 emissions. Accordingly, there is a clear opportunity to address emissions in the purchased goods & services category; specifically, our key proteins (beef, chicken dairy) comprise 67% of this scope.

Now that we’ve established our baseline, we are refining our GHG reduction strategy by reviewing our relevant emissions categories to understand and prioritize the measures that will help us achieve emissions reductions by 2030. Prioritization will be based on reduction potential and cost, and our abatement strategy will include both new initiatives as well as expansion of existing initiatives.

As a next step, we will be identifying and committing to a clear reduction target to reduce emissions.

RBI will also report on energy use and emissions annually through CDP’s Climate Survey.