Essays on Environmental Management Strategies for McDonalds and Burger King Case Study

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The paper 'Environmental Management Strategies for McDonald’ s and Burger King" is a good example of a management case study. The lifestyles people lead in the modern world have changed their eating habits in a myriad ways. The lifestyles are characterised by the habit of undertaking daily routines as conveniently as possible and in the fastest possible ways. The fast-food industry meets the need for these eating habits and lifestyles. The fast-growing globalization of the American fast food industry has been attributed to the fast-food giant McDonald’ s Corporation. It has over 300,000 outlets in over 100 countries around the world.

The operations of these fast food companies impact on the environment in several ways: direct, upstream and downstream impacts. Therefore, they are required to operate in environmentally responsible ways. How well do they uphold this obligation and responsibility to the environment? This paper is an assessment of the environmental management plan for two of the leading fast-food giants; McDonald’ s and Burger King. Using environmental themes; restaurant operations, corporate operations, sustainable supply, advocacy and partnerships, and communication and culture; used by McDonald’ s environmental plan, this paper compares and contrasts the policies of both companies and reviews the efficacy of these policies in light of criticisms by environmental groups and others.

Further, the paper judges the truth of the facts, for and against, both McDonald’ s and Burger King and offers a conclusion and recommendations on their environmental plans. Introduction Foodservice and food retailing have a direct environmental impact mainly in the areas of “ energy use, air and water emission and solid waste generation” (Davies and Konisky 2000, p. 4). Major energy uses in the fast-food restaurants are for cooking, lighting and refrigeration.

The energy uses of this industry should be managed in order to reduce the environmental impact associated with energy use. Using a new institutional marketing effort, fast-food giant, McDonald’ s is trying to show consumers its greener side. It has set an environmental plan which is accessible to the public through its global social responsibility website. Its plan is to be implemented under five environmental themes; restaurant operations, corporate operations, sustainable supply, advocacy and partnerships and communication and culture. Literature Review The food system, according to Gottlieb and Joshi (2010), is described as the “ the entire set of activities and relationships that make up the various food pathways from seed to table and influence the how and why and what we eat” (p.

5). Gottlieb and Joshi (2010) assert that environmental justice is linked to food justice. They observe that “ the new work on food could be seen as seeking to transform where what and how food is grown, produced, transported, accessed and eaten. ” (p. 5). Currey and Hinote (2011) observed that few people are unaware of the inner working of the food-industrial complexes and the dangers they pose to the environment.

According to Currey & Hinote, the primary goal of these fast food producers is profits. The fast-food outlets are franchised “ chains operating nationally and internationally, each chain having the same food products on the menu, manufactured by identical food production techniques” (Aarnio 2006, p. 24). Most of the food is sold as taking away, which implies that the food is ready to eat and is packaged to be eaten at work or at home.

Bender and Bender (2001) observe that most of the fast-food specialize in sandwiches, chicken, pizzas and hamburgers. Currey and Hinote opine that “ Because our foods are produced at such a high rate, because our foods are produced quickly, and because profit is the primary goal of food production, societies around the world suffer (2011, p. 130). The unintended effects of McDonaldization affect the environment, animals as well as humans.


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Currey, A. D. and Hinote B. P., 2011, The Evolution of Industrial Food Production: McDonaldization and Population Health, Middle Tennessee State University. Available at

Davies, T. and Konisky, D. M., 2000, Environmental Implications of the Foodservice and Food Retail Industries, Resources for the Future Discussion paper 00-11, Available online at

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Gottlieb, R & Joshi, A 2010, Food justice, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA; London, Eng. MIT Press

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