Burger King - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, GHG Emissions  -  July 15, 2020

Burger King to limit cattle methane emissions with new diet

Burger King announced July 14 that they intend to reduce the daily methane emissions released by their beef livestock by 33% per day through a new program that will switch up the cows’ diet and improve the sustainability of the beef industry.

The fast-food giant reported that, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock is responsible for approximately 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Studies suggest that by adding 100 grams of lemongrass leaves to the cows’ daily diet during their last four months, they release less methane during digestion.

“This initiative is part of our Restaurant Brands for Good framework,” Fernando Machado, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Restaurant Brands International, said in a statement. “At Burger King, we believe that delicious, affordable, and convenient meals can also be sustainable. We are making all our findings public. This an open source approach to a real problem. If the whole industry, from farmers, meat suppliers, and other brands join us, we can increase scale and collectively help reduce methane emissions that affect climate change.”

Burger King worked with scientists Octavio Castelan, Ph.D, Professor at the Autonomous University at the State of Mexico and Ermias Kebreab, Ph.D, Professor at the University of California, on this project.

Over the next year, the Burger King chain aims to measure and establish reduction targets for their carbon footprint and continue to phase out expanded polystyrene from all centrally managed guest packaging globally.


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