Restaurant operator Yum Brands announced today its plans to cut greenhouse gases 46 percent by 2030 in partnership with its franchisees, suppliers and producers. The company, which operates Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell, and the Habit Burger, also said today it plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
In a statement, Yum said it is “working closely” with its brands, franchisees, and suppliers on these goals, with a plan to focus on emission reductions at both corporate and franchise restaurants, as well as throughout its supply chain.
Its restaurant brands have already kickstarted a few different initiatives that support its goal. Right now those include:
- Investing in green buildings: KFC is investing in green buildings in Malaysia, South Africa, and the U.K., with “promising results.” For example, KFC reported 18 percent overall energy savings in Malaysia.
- Accelerating renewable energy: By the end of this year, Yum will transition 1,000 of its restaurants to renewable energy. The company has not yet specified which restaurants and where, though it has piloted renewable energy programs at KFC Australia in the past, and in 2020, it moved corporate offices in the U.S. to renewable energy.
- Collaborating with climate-forward partners: Yum said it joined the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), an alliance of large energy buyers, energy providers and service providers this year.
Yum is just the latest high-profile restaurant company publicizing its sustainability goals. Back at the start of 2020, Starbucks announced its own plan to cut carbon emissions, water usage, and landfill waste in half by 2030. (The company is also trialing a reusable cup program in Seattle.) Chipotle just diverted 51 percent of its waste, according to the company’s latest sustainability report. It’s also tying sustainability goals to some executive compensation. Dunkin’, meanwhile, introduced food waste and composting programs in March of this year.
The sheer reach of Yum’s restaurant brands — over 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries and territories — means its efforts could have significant influence on the restaurant industry as a whole as sustainability becomes a more urgent priority to address.