Ágnes Horváth

Managing Director

McDonald’s Hungary Restaurant Chain LLC

The business strategy of McDonald’s is based on partnership, as we could not be successful without cooperating closely with our suppliers and franchise partners, and without receiving support from our other key stakeholders. Our sustainability strategy also functions accordingly. We can only manage our climate change related responsibilities efficiently if we measure our impact and if we measure it in its entirety. That is why we apply the carbon footprint index, which helps us identify the critical points of intervention. Having analyzed the results measured we set objectives, then we plan and execute our course of action to meet them. This is how we ensure that a responsible and sustainable supply chain forms one of the basic pillars of our strategy.

McDonald’s carbon footprinting

Industry: FMCG

Date: Continuous since 2011

Climate change

Solutions of the macro-sustainability challenges

Shift to low carbon economy by increasing effective energy use and industrial energy efficiency, promoting clean and environmentally friendly technologies and life cycle assessment

Further targets:

What´s the solution?

The corporate responsibility and the sustainability strategy of McDonald’s Hungary do not start and finish at controlling and reducing our own emissions. Climate change related challenges could not be managed with such a narrow minded approach, as our impact on the environment can only be examined through the complexity created by the operation of our suppliers, our entire supply chain, our restaurants, as well as the behaviors of our customers. This is why in 2008 McDonald’s Europe initiated measuring and tracking the carbon footprint of the European McDonald’s restaurant chains. In Hungary the process of data gathering started in 2010, followed by the introduction of the first calculations and data assessment. Consequently, national objectives were defined, e.g. the reduction of electric energy, heating optimization, etc.

Calculations have been continuously complied each year, ever since 2011. In year 2016 McDonald’s completed their carbon footprint calculation for the 6th time. Both direct and indirect emissions are measured, and retrieved data are analyzed on an annual basis. If a country fails to meet their set objectives, the reasons and the possible solutions are evaluated together with the European expert team. The annual targets set for 3 year periods are signed by each managing director, thus confirming their personal commitment to achieving them. Carbon reduction strategies are developed locally by the individual countries. The process can be supported by the European expert team, if necessary. Our carbon footprint measuring method makes it possible for us to evaluate our impact as comprehensively as possible within the supply chain however, the quality of data is of critical importance. Therefore data gathering and validation are being continuously developed. Carbon footprint measurement and validation support and promote the procurement related objectives, namely our objective to purchase our food from socially responsible and sustainable sources.

Business connection

Carbon footprint calculation not only aims protecting the environment and reducing the pollution in specific areas, but also offers economic advantages, financial gains and savings (transportation optimization, energy related modernization, etc.) to the company.

As result of operating more responsibly both the efficiency and the reputation of the company improve: the interventions implemented in significant areas identified by the carbon footprint calculations not only enable McDonald’s to prepare for the environmental challenges to be faced in the future, but they also build customer support by being morally beneficial, which result in competitive advantages to McDonald’s versus the competitors.


Carbon footprint measurement contributes to defining areas/sectors making the most significant impact, consequently promoting the definition of objectives and fields to intervene, as well as the implementation of actions. Resulting from carbon footprint measurement McDonald’s could define the most relevant impact areas of the restaurant chain, e.g.: transportation, heating, air conditioning, using of cooling agents,, electric energy use, etc. Based on these the company developed corporate strategies, including transportation optimization to improve the efficiency of utilizing trucks, resulting in a utilization of over 90% by 2011, while mileage generated was reduced by 24%.