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Fast food chains urged to cut carbon emissions

An investor group managing some $6.5 trillion called on six of the world’s largest fast food chains to start managing their climate impacts. The owners of McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King were among the companies targeted.

A new coalition of ethical investors has raised concerns over the environmental impacts of fast food retailers’ supply chains, with particular concern raised around the climate impacts and water pollution issues associated with unsustainable animal agriculture. An open letter co-organised by the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return (Fairr) Initiative and sustainability organisation Ceres, was sent to the world’s six largest fast food chains, calling on them to publicly set and monitor targets on greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater impacts.

Jeremy Coller, founder of Fairr and chief investment officer of Coller Capital commented:

“Every day around 84 million adults consume fast food in the US alone, but the inconvenient truth of convenience food is that the environmental impacts of the sector’s meat and dairy products have hit unsustainable levels...To put this in perspective, if cows were a country, it would be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Other high-emitting industries, such as cars or oil and gas, are beginning to set clear yet ambitious climate targets, making animal agriculture one of the world’s highest-emitting sectors without a low-carbon plan.”

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