A coalition of global investors is urging some of the largest fast food companies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The group, which has approximately $6.5 trillion under management, wants the fast food chains to reduce the carbon footprint of their meat and dairy supply chains.
The global fast food sector is reportedly worth a whopping $570 billion annually. The coalition has targeted some of the most notable contributors to that figure, including McDonald’s, KFC, Domino’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Chipotle.
According to the investors, animal agriculture is one of the world’s highest-emitting sectors without a low-carbon plan. If left unchecked, emissions from animal agriculture alone would contribute 70% of the total worldwide target for emissions in 2050 that would keep the global rise in temperature below 2C. Animal agriculture also uses an estimated 10% of annual global water flows.
In their letter to the fast food giants, the investors are calling on the companies to implement clear requirements for suppliers of animal proteins to report and reduce their greenhouse gas and freshwater impacts. They want fast food companies to publish quantitative, time bound targets for reductions, and commit to publicly disclose the progress on these targets.
Climate change is increasingly a factor for investors when evaluating market risk. This investor letter comes just weeks after the EAT-Lancet commission report was published, in which their experts suggest that a sustainable diet for the planet by 2050 will require a 90% reduction in red meat and milk consumption.
Fast food may need to slow down.
Fast food giants under fire on climate and water usage
The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health
Photo, posted May 19, 2014, courtesy of Mike Mozart via Flickr.
Earth Wise is a production of WAMC Northeast Public Radio.