Stakeholder Engagement & Public Policy
Against the backdrop of a continually changing external landscape, we engage with key stakeholder groups on environmental and social issues where we believe McDonald’s can have the greatest impact.
Our business environment and markets are constantly evolving, influenced by global trends and challenges that affect us all. With this in mind, we draw on the insights and expertise of key stakeholders regarding the areas where we believe we can have the biggest impact. The lasting relationships we’ve developed with experts from academia, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the investment community and others help us better understand and advance progress on a range of impact aspects.
Investors are increasingly focused on environmental and social issues as they consider investments across their portfolios that create long-term, sustainable value. We keep investors informed of our progress and efforts through our annual Purpose & Impact reporting and direct engagement, which allows us to understand the issues that they view as most important for us. In addition, we continue to leverage the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Reporting Guidance and publish a 2022–2023 SASB Index within our Purpose & Impact Report (PDF – 7 MB) capturing our progress to date against SASB’s sector-relevant focus areas.
More specifically, we recognize the importance of disclosing climate-related risks and opportunities for our business through a report grounded in the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), as well as human capital data that facilitates investor assessment for our management of these issues. To reinforce the importance of human capital issues, our 2022–2023 Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report (PDF) includes a Diversity Snapshot, and we incorporated quantitative human capital management-related metrics into annual incentive compensation for Executive Vice Presidents. We recognize that these issues are of particular interest to our investors, and we will continue to enhance disclosures about our priorities and metrics in these areas as our actions and transparency expectations evolve going forward.
Our business depends on our independent Franchisees, which is why we look to engage them through multiple platforms. From regular meetups for Franchisee-led groups and our bi-annual Worldwide Convention, to recognizing outstanding achievements, McDonald’s is dedicated to creating opportunities for Franchisees to connect, learn from other Franchisees and celebrate collective successes.
We also work alongside our suppliers, farmers, ranchers and producers in the pursuit of more sustainable agriculture at every level of the supply chain and, through these valuable collaborations, we support our ongoing commitment to a deforestation-free supply chain across our primary commodities.1
Our commitment to respect people and their rights throughout our value chain is defined in several documents. These standards, principles and policies work together to reinforce a culture of integrity and respect and are foundational to how we feed and foster communities around the globe. Learn more about how we protect health and safety and respect and promote human rights in our value chain.
Whether in restaurants or office buildings, Company and Franchisee employees are the face of our brand and critical to our success. We offer several channels through which Corporate Staff and crew members in McDonald’s restaurants can communicate their thoughts, concerns and ideas for improvements. Listening to these allows us to stay responsive and supportive, empowering people to do their jobs better and rewarding jobs well done. We also host town hall meetings and offer face-to-face meetings to keep everyone up to date with the latest Company developments. Read more about how we listen to our people regarding jobs, inclusion and empowerment.
Our employee business networks (EBNs) act as another way for Corporate Staff to engage with the Company. These groups help promote an inclusive work environment, foster relationships, support career development opportunities and mentorships, lead volunteerism in our communities, and help grow the business by contributing insights from employee communities and lived experiences.
We value the opinions of our global customers and communities and understand their desire to support companies that share their views on responsible business. Customers can get in touch to share their thoughts through our social media platforms and communication portals.
We work with a range of local organizations to provide aid during times of crisis. We also have a long legacy of initiatives designed to provide our neighbors with crucial support and care, and we gather insights from our nonprofit partners to influence how we design our support for communities. Read more about this work on our Community Impact & Philanthropy page.
Engaging NGOs and academic advisors through strategic partnerships is a key part of how we have managed environmental and social priorities over the last few decades. We engage with a wide range of NGOs, associations and external experts who provide insights and perspective that shape our strategies, research, goals, policies and performance indicators to drive greater impact. We often collaborate with organizations to help us develop and implement initiatives on the ground and to facilitate multi-stakeholder and industrywide collaborations that help to create change at scale.
Key NGO Engagement in 2022–2023
- McDonald’s continues to be part of the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD) Forum, collaborating with others in the industry on the frameworks, metrics and tools that will be used to address nature-related risks and opportunities.
- In recent years, we have annually shared our plastic footprint data with World Wildlife Fund’s ReSource: Plastic program, an effort to address plastic pollution and identify new opportunities to maximize impact. The report quantifies corporate impact and tracks Company actions and opportunities to prevent millions of tons of plastic waste. Through the data provided by McDonald’s, ReSource: Plastic’s annual report Transparent 2022 highlighted McDonald’s continued work toward reducing small plastic used in primary guest packaging and shifting toward more sustainable materials where possible.
- We donated $5 million in 2022 in employee assistance and international relief support efforts led by the Red Cross in response to the war in Ukraine and resulting humanitarian crisis in Europe.
- We continued the five-year $100 million commitment to Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC®) that we set in 2020 to help RMHC continue increasing access to medical care for children around the world.
- We’re proud to be a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and WBCSD’s Food & Agriculture pathway. As members of The Consumer Goods Forum, we are active in the Forest Positive Coalition and participate in working groups on beef, soy and palm oil.
- McDonald's joined the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), a broad-based influential network of 500 businesses and NGOs, national security and foreign policy experts, and business, faith-based, academic, military and community leaders in all 50 states who support strategic investments to elevate development and diplomacy in pursuit of a better, safer world.
- In 2022, we joined the Centre for Sport and Human Rights, a multi-stakeholder forum that seeks to advance a world of sports that fully respects and promotes human rights by generating awareness around key human rights issues, building capacity and delivering impact. Sponsors of sporting events are recognized as critical stakeholders. Our participation helps us understand and implement measures to help prevent human rights violations linked to sport and major events.
We engage with policymakers to inform them of our commitments and progress in relation to environmental and social topics and to collect feedback that helps inform our work. When engaging in political activities, we are committed to the highest ethical standards and have strong governance practices and accountability measures in place.
We have developed effective policies for the appropriate oversight and disclosure of our political and lobbying activities, and we can demonstrate transparency as required by applicable disclosure laws. We maintain a robust Political Contribution Policy that sets forth procedures designed to protect and/or enhance shareholder value.
We publicly post membership in U.S. trade associations and require those associations to agree that McDonald’s membership dues will not be used for political contributions, independent expenditures, electioneering communications or ballot initiatives.
Our U.S. federal lobbying spending is required to be reported to the federal government and is publicly available on websites maintained by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Our state government relations spending is also generally required to be reported to applicable state governments and is publicly available on those states’ websites. In addition, any support that we direct to candidates, electioneering, lobbying and charities outside the U.S. is generally required, by law, to be disclosed by the recipient or donor. We publish our political contributions on our website.
1 For McDonald’s, “supporting deforestation-free supply chains” refers to commodities that we source sustainably from high priority regions or commodities sourced from low priority regions. For more detailed definitions of these, and other relevant terms, see Definitions of Deforestation on our Nature, Forests & Water web page.