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 Targets

Understanding the urgent need for climate action, our ambition is to be a part of the solution and is why we’ve set ambitious climate targets to help meet this goal.

RBI has set a long-term target to become net-zero emissions by 2050, or sooner, in line with the Paris Agreement’s call to limit global warming to 1.5°C by this date. In the interim, we have set science-based targets (SBTs) for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by 2030.

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

By 2030, RBI aims to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 50%, as well as Scope 3 GHG emissions intensity by 50% per metric ton of food, and per franchise restaurant, compared to a 2019 base year. These targets were approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and based on the SBTi Criteria and Recommendations.

Achieving these targets would prevent an estimated 25.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) from being released into the atmosphere by 2030 as compared to a business-as-usual scenario. Preventing this amount of GHG emissions is comparable to taking 5.5 million passenger cars off the road in the United Stated for an entire year – or the total number of household vehicles in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City combined1.

Additionally, RBI joined the Race to Zero, by becoming a signatory of the Business Ambition for 1.5°C pledge in 2021, joining other leading companies committing to setting science-based emissions-reduction targets in line with limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

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 29,000 restaurants around the world.

To do this, we calculated our greenhouse gas footprint for the first time in 2019. Our total global greenhouse gas emissions were more than 29.6 million metric tons of CO2e in 2019; more than 99% of those emissions were from Scope 3, while Scopes 1 and 2 accounted for less than 1% of our total footprint.

RBI's 2019 Greenhouse Gas Footprint

RBI's Scope Footprint
Scope 1 and 2 Footprint
Breakdown of Purchased Goods and Services

4. Based on 2019 data.
5. Other = Capital Goods, Fuel and Energy Related Activities, Business Travel, Employee Commuting.

6. Other = Baked Goods, Cold Drinks, Condiments, Confectionery, Hot Drinks, Non-Food, Processed Produce, Produce & Vegetables.
7. Other = Alternative Proteins, Mutton, Seafood, Turkey.

Our 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.

Scopes 1-3

Cleaner Logistics and Distribution

A major driver of emissions is transport and distribution. We are investing in using electric trucks, as well as the energy efficiency of our directly controlled Tim Hortons Distribution Centers and Manufacturing Facilities.

Goal Progress
Transition at least % of our Tim Hortons truck fleet to electric models by 2030. We purchased two Volvo VNR trucks in spring of 2022, that we plan to pilot in 2023. In the meantime, we’re updating the charging infrastructure at two of our Canadian Distribution Centers to support this pilot.
Develop an energy efficiency strategy for our corporate-owned Tim Hortons Distribution Centres and Manufacturing Facilities. We are working to perform energy audits at these facilities that will guide our strategy for reducing emissions.
Procure 100% of our energy from renewable sources for our corporate-owned Tim Hortons Distribution Centers and Manufacturing Facilities. As of May 2022, we’ve purchased renewable energy certificates to cover 100% of electricity use for our corporate owned Tim Hortons Distribution Centers and Manufacturing Facilities.

Our Corporate Footprint

We are also working to reduce our greenhouse gas footprint in our corporate offices around the world, known as Restaurant Support Centers, as well with our corporate car fleet.

Our Restaurant Support Center in Singapore is Greenmark Gold Plus Certified, and our Restaurant Support Center is Miami is proudly LEED Silver Certified and has added bike racks and electric car chargers for employees.

Goal Progress
Procure 100% of electricity for our Restaurant Support Centers (RSC’s) globally from renewable sources. Our EMEA RSC in Switzerland sources 100% renewable hydro power from their local utility provider.
  As of May 2022, we’ve purchased renewable energy certificates to cover 100% of electricity use for our RSC’s in North America (Miami and Toronto).
Transition 100% of our corporate car fleet to electric models by 2030. In May 2022, we purchased 30 Tesla Model 3 electric vehicles that will function as a pilot to validate their operational effectiveness within our car fleet.

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.

Goal Progress
Procure renewable energy for 100% of electricity use for our directly-controlled and corporate owned or leased operations globally. Our EMEA RSC in Switzerland sources 100% renewable hydro power from their local utility provider.
  As of May 2022, we’ve purchased renewable energy certificates to cover 100% of electricity use for our directly-controlled corporate owned or leased3 operations in North America.
Procure 50% of electricity used globally by franchise restaurants from renewable energy sources. We joined the Clean Energy Buyer’s Association in January 2022 and will be working on building our long-term strategy for renewable energy, starting with the US and Canada, with plans to scale this plan to international markets in upcoming years.

Engaging Our Supply Chain

Our purchased goods and services represent our greatest opportunity for impact, as they account for 82% 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, with Guidehouse and other leading brands, we joined the Supplier Leadership on Climate Transition consortium (Supplier LoCT), 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 2022, 58 global suppliers have taken part in this program.

On-Farm Practices

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 8,000 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.

Learn More: Grasslands Restoration Project

In 2022, Burger King with Cargill and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), announced a five-year initiative to support cattle ranchers who are committed to addressing climate change through regenerative agriculture practices in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. Through this partnership, up to $10 million in funding will bring financial and technical resources to ranching organizations in the Southern Great Plains to improve grassland management and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by sequestering more carbon in the soil, improving soil health and resistance to erosion, and increasing biodversity. The Southern Great Plains host a unique set of wildlife species that are specifically adapted to this grassland ecosystem. Many of these species, such as the Monarch butterfly and songbirds, migrate to and from the region in order to complete their life cycle. Others, including the pronghorn, swift fox, prairie chicken and bobwhite quail are year-round residents that live alongside human residents who are engaged in the ranching of livestock, primarily beef cattle.

Estimated Impact: the sustainable grazing practices implemented by ranchers will have far-reaching impact by sequestering up to 360,000 metric tons of carbon per year, the equivalent or removing 904 million miles driven or the energy to power 43,000 U.S. homes for one year.

Exploring the Benefits of Feed Additives

Together with suppliers and ranchers, we have supported scientific efforts to reduce cattle-based methane emissions using feed additives.

Operating Sustainable Restaurants

In order 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, water use, and waste.

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

Goal Progress
Pilot Green Building Standards at corporate and franchise restaurants across our brands globally, allowing us to test new equipment and approaches that can eventually be widely adopted across our system. Incorporate successful elements from the Green Buildings pilots into new and remodeled restaurants globally by 2030.
  We are working to identify franchisee partners and corporate restaurants to host these pilots, as well as determining the types of equipment and approaches to test based on geography, brand and store format.
Procure 50% of electricity used globally by franchise restaurants from renewable energy sources. We joined the Clean Energy Buyer’s Alliance in January 2022 and will be working on building our long-term strategy for renewable energy, starting with the US and Canada, with plans to scale this plan to international markets in upcoming years.

Measuring Our Progress

Managing greenhouse gas emissions is a time-intensive process, requiring data collection and reporting from many parts of the business. To streamline the way we collect, track and report our this information, we licensed Guidehouse Papaya™, a sustainability management platform, in 2021 that we’ll begin using in 2023 to recalculate our global greenhouse gas footprint.

This tool offers customizable portals which will eventually be accessible to all stakeholders across the value chain, including franchisees and suppliers, to reduce manual data collection. Additionally, the platform allows us to track progress towards our climate targets and forecast multiple scenarios to plan abatement action.

Using data collecting using this tool, RBI will report on energy use and emissions annually through CDP's Climate Survey.

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 plan to look 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 can take several years.

Partnerships

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

Disclosures

  • GRI
    • GRI 302: Energy
      • 103-1
      • 103-2
      • 103-3
      • 302-1
      • 302-2
      • 302-3
    • GRI 303: Water and Effluents
      • 103-1
      • 103-2
      • 103-3
    • GRI 305: Emissions
      • 103-1
      • 103-2
      • 103-3
      • 305-1
      • 305-2
      • 305-3
      • 305-4
  • SASB
    • FB-RN-130a.1
    • FB-RN-140a.1

1 According to calculations based on 2021 data from the U.S. EPA and the latest available U.S. census data

2Four global RSC’s, Tim Hortons Distribution Centers and Manufacturing Centers, and Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons corporate-owned restaurants

3Miami and Toronto Restaurant Support Centers, Tim Hortons Distribution Centers and Manufacturing Centers, and Burger King, Popeyes and Tim Hortons corporate-owned restaurants

4www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator