June 11, 2019
Restaurant Brands International Owns Burger King, Tim Hortons & Popeyes
CANADA -- At the Restaurant Brand International’s annual general meeting of shareholders on June 11th, SumOfUs, an international consumer group, presented executives with a petition of 270,000 names from people around the world, including over 500 shareholders, calling on the fast-food giant to match peers like McDonald’s and adopt a time-bound No Deforestation policy across all commodities in its global supply chain.
VIEW THE PETITION HERE: https://actions.sumofus.org/a/burger-king-end-deforestation-in-your-supply-chain-now
RBI utilizes beef, soy, palm oil, and pulp/paper in its business and these commodities are among the leading drivers of deforestation globally. RBI has taken limited action on deforestation and has not committed to any time-bound policy yet, falling behind competitor fast food chains McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks. SumOfUs members believe that RBI needs to act decisively and quickly to reverse the loss of biodiversity and carbon storage resulting from deforestation in its supply change.
“RBI’s supply chain is littered with commodities that are leading deforestation globally. With the UN’s shocking biodiversity report naming one million species at risk of extinction, mostly from habitat loss, SumOfUs members are demanding immediate and decisive action,” explained Amelia Meister, senior campaigner at SumOfUs.
“Because of RBI’s lack of transparency, it’s questionable whether the company itself even knows what is happening in its supply chain. Customers quite rightly want to know if their Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons snacks and drinks are destroying Earth’s last remaining rainforests. For a company of its size, RBI’s secrecy is irresponsible to customers and shareholders alike, which is why we are demanding a clear and time-bound no deforestation policy now,” she added.
Forests absorb 2.6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, about one-third of the carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels. Deforestation accounts for over 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to biodiversity loss, soil erosion and disrupted rainfall patterns. Commercial agriculture accounted for over 70% of tropical deforestation between 2000 and 2010, half of which was illegal. Value chains that are illegally engaged in deforestation are vulnerable to interruption with new regulations and enforcement, to which companies must adapt.
Companies that fail to mitigate the impacts of their supply chain face reputational
damage. In recent years, major media outlets have reported on specific companies’ failure to
adequately implement policies that address deforestation. This publicity, along with increased
consumer awareness and concern about deforestation, poses a significant reputational risk.