Climate Action

Climate change is undoubtedly one of the most pressing issues facing our generation, with consequences affecting our guests, employees, suppliers, and other stakeholders around the world. As one of the largest quick-service restaurant companies with a global footprint, we have an opportunity and an obligation to address the challenge of climate change and do our part to help reduce its harmful effects.

Our Climate Journey

We began our climate journey in 2020, calculating our Scopes 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) footprint for the first time. Using 2019 data, we determined our baseline to be 29.6 million MT CO2e, with more than 99% of GHG emissions coming from Scope 3.

After determining our baseline, in 2021 we set targets to reduce GHG emissions across our business to achieve by 2030 and 2050. in 2022, we started the work necessary to achieve our targets, focused on core parts of our business like our owned operations, our restaurants, and our supply chain.

In 2023, we have been focused on tracking progress against our original base year and calculated our Scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions footprint again, including Firehouse Subs for the first time, and using 2022 data.

Our Targets

We joined the United Nations Race to Zero campaign in 2021, setting our long-term target to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest. In the same year, we set targets to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 50% and reduce Scope 3 emissions intensity by 50% per metric tonne of food and per franchised restaurant, relative to a 2019 base year. These targets were approved by the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTI).

Net Zero by 2050 1.5 degree aligned science-based target Reduce GHG Emissions

In early 2023, we expanded the boundaries of our reported emissions to include Firehouse Subs, which we acquired in December 2021. We also improved our calculation approach, shifting from spend-based commodity data to primary commodity volume data instead.

Given the lack of primary data on Firehouse Subs' emissions in 2019, we are unable to retroactively apply our updated calculation approach to our original base year. Therefore, to properly reflect the acquisition of Firehouse Subs and our improved calculation method, we are updating our base year to 2022, from 2024, and will revalidate our targets at the same time.

RBI’s Greenhouse Gas Impact

Arriving at these targets required developing a comprehensive understanding of each of our areas of impact and our options for abatement. This includes impact areas within our business for which we control, like the efficiency of our Restaurant Support Centers globally, and within our supply chain, such as agricultural practices relative to beef or purchased electricity practices at our more than 30,000 restaurants around the world.

In Q1 of 2023, we recalculated our Scopes 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions using 2022 data, including GHG emissions from Firehouse Subs for the first time. Our total global GHG emissions were 30 million metric tonnes of CO2e, with Scope 3 still accounting for more than 99% of total emissions.

As for our brands, Burger King accounts for 77.7% of emissions, Tim Hortons for 11.6%, Popeyes for 8.7%, and Firehouse Subs for 2%, while RBI Corporate accounts for .1% of total GHG emissions.

RBI’s 2022 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Footprint1

1Reported GHG emissions includes Firehouse Subs.
Other categories include Capital Goods, Fuel and Energy Activities, Operational Waste, Business Travel, Employee Commuting, Downstream Transportation and Distribution, Use of Sold Products, Product End of Life, Investments.

Purchased Goods & Services

This category remains our area of highest impact, with 84% of total GHG emissions being accounted for here.

Since 2019, there has been an increase in the ratio for which proteins account for emissions in Purchased Goods and Services, from 58% of the category to 74% in 2022. This is due to a combination of factors, including an increase in reported protein volumes globally driven in part by changing from a predominantly spend-based analysis to a volume-based analysis. Additional drivers that impacted reported GHG emissions include an increase in sourced volumes from Brazil and changes to the FAO Gleam-i database, which “is continuously updated with new input data from countries, case studies, and the scientific literature.”

The ratio of emissions related to dairy have decreased from 12% in 2019 to 4% in 2022, driven by a decrease in volumes, as a result of switching from spend-based analysis to a volume-based analysis.

The graph below highlights areas of impact within Purchased Goods and Services.

2Other refers to processed produce, conditments, hot drinks, produce and vegetables, confectionary, other food, and non-food.

3Other (Proteins) refers to seafood, turkey, eggs, and alternative proteins.

Considering we are shifting our base year to 2022 and will revalidate our Science Based Targets, comparing our 2022 footprint versus our original 2019 base year does not accurately represent progress versus achieving our targets. However, to show an indication of how we’re performing, the below table represents our 2022 like for like emissions, which do not include Firehouse Subs, with a 2019 base year.

4Reported emissions do not include Firehouse Subs

Our Progress & Strategy

To achieve our climate targets, we’re working closely with our franchisees and suppliers globally, as well as industry experts, to prioritize action on the largest elements of our carbon footprint.

Electrifying our Corporate Car and Truck Fleet

A key focus within our directly controlled and corporate owned or leased operations is transitioning our corporate car and truck fleet to electric models by 2030.

Focus Area Goal Progress
Corporate Car Fleet Transition 100% of our corporate owned car fleet to electric models by 2030 Burger King U.S. transitioned 38% of its corporate car fleet to electric models, representing 15% towards RBI’s goal
Corporate Truck Fleet Transition at least 72% of corporate owned Tim Hortons truck fleet to electric models by 2030 We purchased two Volvo VNR trucks in Spring 2022 that we anticipate receiving in late 2023 or early 2024.

These trucks will further our learnings on truck electrification and how to effectively operationalize and scale this action to meet our goal.

Transitioning To Renewable Energy

As the already severe impacts of climate intensify, the world is looking to industry to invest in renewable energy sources that drive us toward a low-carbon economy, and at RBI we plan to invest in renewable energy across our direct and indirect operations.

Focus Area Goal Progress5
Corporate Owned or Leased Buildings Procure renewable energy for 100% of electricity use for our directly-controlled and corporate owned or leased operations globally We’ve purchased renewable energy certificates to cover more than 99% of relevant volumes.

We are currently working on our long-term strategy by region to achieve this goal.
Franchised Restaurants Procure 50% of electricity use globally Working on our long-term strategy for our restaurants globally

5As of August 2023

Engaging Our Supply Chain

Our purchased goods and services represent our greatest opportunity for impact, as they account for 84% of our total greenhouse gas footprint, with the most significant impact coming from proteins, in particular beef. We’ve identified key drivers that will allow us to reduce emissions intensity in our supply chain, and we’ll work closely with suppliers and producers to achieve this.

Supplier Engagement

In October 2021, together with other leading brands, we joined the Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition consortium (Supplier LoCT) founded by Guidehouse, to engage and assist suppliers in accelerating climate action. The program provides suppliers with the resources, tools and a knowledge curriculum to progress toward and achieve climate goals faster and in line with climate science.

As of May 2023, 58 global suppliers have taken part in this program.

On-Farm Practices

Together with our suppliers, we are investing in protecting and regenerating natural ecosystems that play a role in absorbing or storing carbon.

In 2020, Burger King announced a grasslands restoration project, in partnership with Cargill and World Wildlife Fund. This three-year reseeding project aims to convert more than 7,500 acres of marginal cropland throughout Montana and South Dakota to ecologically diverse grasslands with beef cattle as the primary grazers in the ecosystem to maintain it. These reseeding efforts will help to pull carbon from the atmosphere and store it underground.

Estimated Impact – If successful, the program is projected to save the carbon equivalent of driving nearly 7-million miles in an average passenger vehicle.

Progress to Date – As of August 2023 and according to the World Wildlife Fund, 6,244 acres have been seeded, accounting for 79% of our project goal:

In 2022, Burger King with Cargill and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), announced a five-year plan to support regenerative agriculture in six states in the Southern Great Plains, including Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. We offered up to $10 million USD in funding and technical resources to provide support for cattle ranchers committed to implementing regenerative agriculture practices that enhance grassland management, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by increasing carbon sequestration in the soil, improve soil health and resistance to erosion, and foster biodiversity.

Estimated Impact – Overall and per NFWF, this project has the potential to sequester up to 360,000 metric tonnes of carbon, the equivalent of the energy to power 45,000 U.S, homes for one year6, and impact 1,000,000 acres of land.

Progress to Date

6Based on the EPA's Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator

Exploring the Benefits of Feed Additives

Together with suppliers and ranchers, we have supported scientific efforts to reduce cattle-based methane emissions using innovative feed additives, and we continue to explore ways to tackle this important source of emissions.

Operating Sustainable Restaurants

To help us and our restaurant owners work towards reducing their environmental footprints, we are developing design standards that incorporate the use of innovative products and practices in both new restaurants and updates to our existing locations, as applicable, that evaluate energy consumption.

To support this, we’ve set interim goals as follows:

Focus Area Goal Progress
Franchised Restaurants Develop and implement a Green Building Standards for restaurants globally Developing and formalizing these standards requires time and testing. Currently, we are performing in-depth energy analyses on a global set of restaurants to identify opportunities for emissions reductions. We plan on testing identified decarbonization measures at select restaurants over the next few years.

These tests will inform our finalized Green Building Standards.

Managing Climate-Related Risks and Opportunities

We understand that assessing climate risks and strengthening our collective resiliency is what we must do for our planet, communities, and our business. In 2022, we looked to the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to guide our approach, with the goal of preparing ourselves for compliance, recognizing that full alignment with TCFD and other frameworks can take several years.

Since then, we began working with an external partner to support the adoption of TCFD-aligned reporting and are actively identifying and assessing climate-related risks and opportunities. This work has involved conducting both qualitative and quantitative climate-related scenario analyses to begin informing our strategy planning, as well as quantifying the financial impact of the top physical and transition risks and opportunities on the business. Our analyses have covered both “below 2°C” (e.g., IEA NZE 2050 and RCP 2.6) and “above 2°C” scenarios (e.g., IEA STEPS and RCP 8.5).

The outcomes of this ongoing work will include enabling the business to understand key climate risks and uncertainties; reduce the costs of transition; and robustly integrate climate risk into our strategic planning and enterprise risk management.


Restaurant Brands International engages in multiple partnerships and coalitions to drive collective action on climate change, including: