June 22, 2017

RBI’s Deforestation Continues Despite Newly Released Sustainability Framework

OAKLAND, CA (June 22, 2017)— Restaurant Brands International (RBI) released its updated sustainability framework today and pledged to eliminate deforestation in its supply chains by 2030. Deforestation accounts for roughly 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. When forests are destroyed to make way for beef, soy, palm oil and paper production, carbon is released into the atmosphere and global warming is accelerated.

Below is a statement by Sharon Smith, Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative campaign manager at the Union of Concerned Scientists and an expert on sustainability policies related to tropical commodity supply chains.

“RBI’s pledge is embarrassingly weak and one that no company truly concerned about environmental sustainability would adopt. Their 2030 deadline to stop deforestation by suppliers is devastating for forests and falls far behind competitors like McDonald’s, which has pledged to eliminate deforestation from key commodities like beef and soy by 2020. The commitment is also inferior to pledges issued by the Consumer Goods Forum and the New York Declaration on Forests, which aim to end corporate-driven deforestation by 2020.

“RBI’s new sustainability framework is greenwashing and a failure in leadership. Even after more than half a million consumers asked RBI to adopt a strong policy to cut deforestation from its supply chain, the recently updated sustainability framework gives suppliers another 13 years to continue cutting down forests and places the company dead last among peer companies with pledges to take action on this critical issue. 

“RBI’s customers and investors deserve better.

“If RBI was serious about tackling deforestation, the company would do much more, including adopting a 2020 timeline, releasing implementation plans for sourcing of deforestation-free beef and soy, the two largest drivers of deforestation in its supply chain, and joining McDonald’s and other companies in urging suppliers – companies like Bunge and Cargill – to replicate the success of the Soy Moratorium in other soy-growing regions in South America.”

Restaurant Brands International Inc. is one of the world's largest quick service restaurant companies with more than $27 billion in system sales and over 23,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries and U.S. territories. Restaurant Brands International owns three of the world's most prominent and iconic quick service restaurant brands - TIM HORTONS®, BURGER KING® and POPEYES®.

The Union of Concerned Scientists puts rigorous, independent science to work to solve our planet's most pressing problems. Joining with citizens across the country, we combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.