Beef Sustainability

As one of the world’s largest purchasers of beef through the Burger King brand restaurants, Restaurant Brands International (RBI) cares deeply about the industry’s ability to deliver high-quality, sustainable beef over the long-term. We are committed to ensuring our guests and stakeholders have confidence in a beef value chain that protects environmental resources and contributes positively to a thriving global food system.

Our Strategy

We will do our part to advance beef sustainability by improving our sourcing approach, promoting best practice at all levels of the supply chain and driving innovative solutions through research and collaboration. In the coming years, we will concentrate our activities and investments in complementary and mutually-reinforcing action areas, working in partnership with suppliers, our peers and other industry stakeholders to:

Embed sustainability into our procurement practices

  • Understand and respond to the sustainability impacts of our supply chain
  • Develop our supply chain capability both internally and externally to address these issues
  • Embed sustainability as a key aspect of any of our procurement requirements

Identify and scale solutions

  • Work with agricultural experts, ranchers, and producers in our supply chain to explore and scale sustainable solutions, like regenerative agriculture or methane inhibitors

Collaborate for industry-wide improvements

  • Accelerate best practice adoption through collaborative partnerships with suppliers, peers and key stakeholders such as the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) and US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRB)

Embedding Sustainability into Our Procurement Practices

Given the size and complexity of our business, we feel the need to understand and manage environmental and social impacts through every part of our business, and to us this means placing additional emphasis on building a resilient and future-proofed supply chain.

In 2021, we hired Action Sustainability to perform an ISO20400 assessment of our global procurement practices. The ISO 20400 sustainable procurement standard focuses on a balanced approach to sustainability, which asses the environmental, social and economic impact of our supply chain. The outcome of this assessment showed that we had the opportunity to embed sustainability further into our procurement practices, so we developed a three-phase approach to help us achieve this.

Currently, we’re in Phase 1, developing the foundations to advance our sustainable procurement approach for several key categories, including beef. This has involved developing a sustainable beef procurement framework, focused on key impact areas like: antibiotics use, animal welfare, climate action, water consumption, waste and resource efficiency, deforestation, ethical labor, transparency and traceability efforts, support and compliance, as well as processor procurement practices. This framework enables us to consistently assess our performance across our global supply chain.

It has also involved exploring opportunities to place greater focus on sustainability metrics in our sourcing process, by adjusting product specifications and purchasing policies. Together these foundations will provide the basis for building our future-proofed supply chains.

As a next step, we are now working with internal and external stakeholders to finalize our new processes so we can embed them into our day-to-day procurement practices and ultimately capture key outcome measures and report on progress externally.

Identifying and Scaling Solutions

As the most significant environmental impacts of beef production are found at the feed and beef farming stages of the value chain, Burger King is committed to working with agricultural experts, ranchers and producers in its supply chain to explore and scale sustainable solutions, such as regenerative agriculture practices and methane inhibiting feed additives.

Grasslands Restoration

In 2019, Burger King and Cargill teamed up with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and ranchers within the Northern Great Plains to launch a three-year grasslands restoration program. This initiative brings together two major companies who deliver beef to Americans to support the rehabilitation of unproductive soil into thriving ecosystems– with cattle playing a critical role. The goal of this program is to restore grasslands that support ranchers, wildlife, and the environment.

Supporting Cattle Ranchers with Regenerative Agriculture Practices

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.

Overall, and per NFWF, this project has the potential to sequester up to 360,000 metric tonnes of carbon and impact 1,000,000 acres of land.

To date this project has achieved:

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.

Collaborating For Industry-Wide Improvements

We believe that the only way to truly affect change is to collaborate with our peers, experts and industry stakeholders. It is crucial to tackle systemic issues and to provide harmonized expectations – thus accelerating the adoption of sustainable practices in beef production across our supply footprint. As a major purchaser of beef across global markets, it’s especially critical to bring the voice of the Burger King brand to the table to advance these efforts.

We are active participants in the global, multi-stakeholder collaboration on beef sustainability - the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) and the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (USRSB). We believe this is important to both help shape the dialogue on beef sustainability at the global level and to help develop and test tools that can improve the sustainability of beef production in our significant markets.


As a member of the GRSB, we endorse its definition and core principles of sustainable beef as a:

“socially responsible, environmentally sound and economically viable product that prioritizes Planet (relevant principles: Natural Resources, Efficiency and Innovation, People and the Community); People (relevant principles: People and the Community and Food); Animals (relevant principle: Animal Health and Welfare); and Progress (relevant principles: Natural Resources, People and the Community, Animal Health and Welfare, Food, Efficiency and Innovation).”


The USRSB is a multi-stakeholder initiative developed to advance, support and communicate continuous improvement in sustainability of the U.S. beef value chain. In 2019, the USRSB adopted the U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Framework to voluntarily assess core elements of sustainability and encourage continuous improvement across the U.S. beef value-chain. These core elements include water resources, land resources, animal health and well-being, employee safety and well-being, efficiency and yield and air and greenhouse gas emissions.