Little changes can have big impacts. McDonald’s Canada continues to seek ways to enhance both environmental performance and brand trust. Because more than 85 percent of its packaging is fiber based, McDonald’s Canada routinely looks for opportunities to lessen its environmental and operational impacts. A transition from white napkins and bags to brown (unbleached) products is an example of continuous improvement with bottom-line benefits for the company.
A survey of Canadian competitors revealed that McDonald’s Canada was the only quick service restaurant in Canada using white (previously bleached and recycled fiber) bags. Further research also indicated a shift towards unbleached, brown napkins. An operations test in western Canada was conducted to determine how customers would respond to the changes. Results showed no negative customer feedback relative to the changes, and indicated that customers were actually using fewer napkins. McDonald’s Canada restaurant employees have found the bags to be sturdier. As a result, McDonald’s Canada decided to make the transition System-wide.
By switching from the previous napkins and bags, McDonald’s Canada has reduced energy, wood and water consumption. Additionally, switching to unbleached bags saved an estimated $667 per restaurant each year. Cumulatively, this represents an approximate McDonald’s Canada System savings of nearly $1.3 million annually.