Re: 10 Questions for Bob Langert, McDonald’s VP of Sustainability

10 Questions for Bob Langert, McDonald’s VP of Sustainability

by Community Manager ‎01-06-2012 06:02 PM - edited ‎10-04-2012 09:57 AM

As the saying goes, the best way to get an answer is to ask a direct question.  In a recent interview with Accountability, McDonald’s VP of Sustainability, Bob Langert, provides his answers to ten very direct questions related to sustainability – including how the nature of sustainability has changed over the years, what it means for McDonald’s and our employees, the initiatives we are most proud of, and more.


Check it out and let us know your thoughts. 


Bob Langert.jpg

by Debbini(anon) on ‎01-23-2012 09:39 PM

I do agree that sustainability has become a major factor in corporations and I’m glad McDonald’s is focusing on this issue.  What is also an interesting topic is how being ethical and being sustainable relate to one another.  For example, Mr. Langert talks about McDonald’s project with the National Potato Council to develop a program to “monitor, measure, and reduce pesticides for potato growing.” I was wondering if there were further plans to extrapolate this practice to other suppliers.  As an example, Starbucks posts on its blog how they are making sure that their coffee is being ethically sourced (  Any coffee farmer that wishes to sell to Starbucks must go through a Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practice training program.  In this way, Starbucks can ensure that it is being as socially responsible and sustainable as possible.  Is this a practice that McDonald’s might want to incorporate in their future endeavors?

by Barb Woodroof(anon) on ‎02-28-2012 11:43 AM


by Larry Taman(anon) on ‎03-14-2012 12:14 AM



My family and I are big McD's fans.  We probably come to one of your restaurants every 7-10 days.  We are fans and not haters.  That said, it really bothers me that you do not have recycling garbage/waste bins at the restaurants.  Here in northern California, waste collection has three bins, one for recyclables, one for compost (food waste) and the last for garbage.  At the NorCal McDs there are just garbage bins and not one for recycling.  Forget composting, but since your packaging is all paper or plastic it is ALL recyclable.  It just kills me to throw it away in the garbage for this recycling materials to go to landfills.  Then I think of all the McDs worldwide doing this.  You guys have strong corporate responsibility and you should be a leader in this too.  And while it may be hard at the start, the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park have all three bins (Recycle, Compost and Garbage) so if they can do it, you guys can do it too.  Maybe you can start with your franchisees in NorCal and then expand it worldwide?  Your thoughts?

by Community Manager on ‎04-02-2012 05:18 PM - last edited on ‎10-04-2012 09:58 AM by Community Manager
Hi Barb,
Thanks for your question.
McDonald’s is the largest purchaser of American beef in the U.S. In order to keep up with our requirements for lean beef, we do import a very small percentage of beef from suppliers in Australia and New Zealand, who are required to meet the exact same high quality and safety standards as our U.S. suppliers.  We do not purchase beef in the U.S. from any other source than those indicated above.
To learn more about our U.S. Supply Chain, please visit:
We appreciate you reaching out.
by HDCar on ‎04-05-2012 09:47 AM
Our main concern is having a more healthier driver on our roads and highways. We have noticed that McDonald's has made efforts to include a more healthy menu. Are there any plans to expand this side of the menu? Of course our concerns also are about drive-thru windows. Is there any plans to speed up these drive-thru lines so that we have less idle time which will in-turn reduce wasting fuel and adding CO-2 into the atmosphere?
by Tracy Zerman(anon) on ‎04-27-2012 08:45 PM

If McDonald's prides it self on being a family oriented restaurant, why is it open every major holiday in my area including Christmas? Your employees have family's that I'm sure they would rather spend time with too.

by Jen(anon) on ‎04-30-2012 12:23 PM

My question is why is plastic put in the food that customers buy and consume? That is disgusting. We do not pay good money to eat silicon, we pay good money to receive a superior product in a short amout of time along side superior service as advertised. Plastic is there no where. Please start selling real food, or please go out of business.

by Community Manager on ‎05-08-2012 04:57 PM

To Jen,


Can you please expand on your comment about plastic in the food?  Are you speaking about a hoax or rumor you recently heard?  You can learn about our food such as grade-A, 100% beef for our burgers, all white-meat chicken in our McNuggets & grilled chicken sandwiches, fruits & vegetables, whole grains, etc.


We are happy to discuss more if you have a specific question about our food.


Thank you.

by Community Manager on ‎05-08-2012 04:58 PM

Hi Tracy,


Please note that hours of operations for our restaurants are up to the discretion of the franchisee for franchised restaurants (more than 80% of all McDonald's restaurants) & the regional team for company-owned restaurants (approx. 20% of all McDonald's restaurants).


Thank you.

by Community Manager on ‎05-11-2012 11:27 AM

Hi Debbini,


Thanks for your comment. We have a strong history of advancing sustainable supply chain policies and practices in a number of areas. Our Sustainable land Management Commitment, for example, outlines our commitment to sourcing all of our food and packaging from sustainable sources, with an initial focus on beef, poultry, coffee, palm oil, fish and fiber. With regards to coffee, we currently serve Rainforest Alliance certified coffee across Europe, New Zealand and Australia and we are exploring coffee-related initiatives in other markets such as the U.S.


Thank you.

by Community Manager on ‎05-11-2012 11:35 AM

Hi Larry,


Thanks for your comments. One of the biggest challenges to recycling for McDonald’s, and the food industry as a whole, is that food packaging is not widely accepted by recyclers. As a result, the majority of our recycling currently happens behind the front counter, and that’s where we see the greatest opportunity for continued improvement.


That said, we are always looking for ways to advance further progress in this area. One of the ways we do this is by sharing best practices across our System. A number of our restaurants in Europe and Latin America have made progress in this area and some have achieved zero waste. Moving forward, we will continue to try and leverage these learnings and work to scale programs that work where it’s feasible and appropriate. 


Thank you.

by Community Manager on ‎05-11-2012 11:37 AM

To HDCar,


Thanks for your comments. We continue to explore new menu options that provide a wide range of choices for our consumers. For example, we just introduced two new breakfast options in the U.S. – a yogurt and blueberry crunch and a blueberry and banana oatmeal.


Regarding the drive-thru, it’s our goal to move our customers through as quickly as possible, while maintaining accuracy, and we’re always looking for ways to make this process more efficient.

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