McDonald’s (A): McDonald’s Environmental Strategy

by: Stuart L. Hart

Publication Date: January 1, 2008
Length: 18 pages
Product ID#: 1-428-677

Core Disciplines: Leadership/Organizational Behavior, Strategy & Management, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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McDonald’s Case (A) is the first piece in the McDonald’s case series. It gives the background on McDonald’s and the organization’s environmental initiatives in the early 1990s. In particular, it presents a partnership that McDonald’s formed with the Environmental Defense Fund to create a systematic approach and a strong scientific basis for McDonald’s solid waste decisions. This case sets the stage for Case (B) which presents the company’s struggles with the decision to phase out polystyrene packaging and Case (C) which deals with the company’s experience as a target of the Beyond Beef Coalition.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Discuss how to develop partnerships between businesses and environmental groups.
  • Understand how to use life cycle analysis (LCA) for decision making.
  • Analyze how environmental issues impact corporate strategy.