This month CDP, a leading global disclosure system, awarded Yum! Brands with an A- in both Palm Oil and Water Security. Yum! also earned a B in Climate, which is at the center of Yum!’s sustainability strategy with a focus on developing and operating more efficient restaurants and working with supply chain partners to reduce their impacts.
For 12 years, Yum! has reported into CDP as a way to share progress and show transparency to investors and other stakeholders around its climate goals and broader ESG practices, increasing its level of disclosure every year. The world’s largest restaurant company also earned a B in Cattle Products and Timber.
“Yum!’s sustainability efforts and progress are reflected in the improvements we’ve seen over time through key disclosures like CDP,” Yum! Chief Sustainability Officer & Vice President of Global Government Affairs Jon Hixson said. “We continue to look for new partnerships and innovative projects that will advance our Recipe for Good, what we call our global citizenship and sustainability strategy, in the markets where our brands operate around the world because we know it’s critical for our employees, franchisees and local communities to be part of this important work.”
Earlier this year, Yum! announced its new science-based targets (SBTs) to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions nearly 50% by 2030 in partnership with its franchisees, suppliers and producers. Yum! also pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. These new commitments will accelerate the progress made to date, like avoiding the release of more than 1,285,000 MTCO2e, the equivalent of the annual emissions of nearly 280,000 passenger vehicles driven for a year, in 2020.
Collaborating for a Cleaner Future
Yum!’s CDP scores are a reflection of a year’s worth of collaborative work as Yum! partnered with a number of organizations to amplify its climate action efforts in 2021.
During COP26, KFC United Kingdom and Ireland (UKI) held a roundtable, led by Dr. Stephen Finnegan, director and founder of the University of Liverpool’s Zero Carbon Research Institute, to share updates and actions on its approach to achieving a zero-carbon future. The two organizations announced a partnership earlier this year, outlining how the institute will examine KFC UKI’s entire estate of nearly 1,000 restaurants to identify ways to decrease its emissions, like using different construction materials and identifying renewable power sources. In addition to becoming a net-zero business by 2040, the institute will help KFC become a circular zero waste business in food, packaging and materials by 2035.
Together with the Clean Energy Buyers Association, a collection of large energy buyers, energy providers and service providers, Yum! hopes to accelerate the transition to a zero-carbon energy future. Other climate-forward initiatives Yum! endorses include the We Mean Business coalition and the United Nation’s Race to Zero campaign.
Yum!’s commitment to addressing climate change also extends to reducing deforestation with a focus on the sourcing of animal products and packaging. Recently, Yum! joined the Tropical Forest Alliance, a multi-stakeholder partnership platform initiated to support the implementation of private-sector commitments to remove deforestation from palm oil, beef, soy and pulp/paper supply chains. Plus, Yum! is evaluating and analyzing existing feed mill data in order to visually map its soy supply chain, a key commodity at Yum!. The company continues to serve as a corporate endorser and input for the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF). NYDF members have collectively committed to end natural forest loss by 2030.
Also in 2021, Yum! extended its existing partnership with the NextGen Consortium, a multiyear pledge to address single-use food packaging waste globally. As a supporting partner, Yum! will continue to collaborate with other companies to help advance foodservice packaging solutions that are recoverable across global infrastructures. This partnership plays an important role in Yum!’s overall sustainable packaging strategy by bringing forward innovative and enabling collaboration across the foodservice industry. Earlier this year, Yum! joined How2Recycle, the leading recycling labeling system in the U.S. and Canada.