Responsible Sourcing

Responsible Sourcing Approach

At Restaurant Brands International (RBI), we are committed to doing what’s right. Our philosophy is simple: integrity, honesty and compliance with the law are not optional. And when it comes to ethics, there is no compromise. This philosophy extends to our supply chain and the people, land and animals that may be impacted by our business.

As a consumer-facing business, many of our products’ biggest sustainability impacts are located beyond our own operations. We embrace our responsibility to work with suppliers, franchisees, and other stakeholders to minimize these impacts, including managing and mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change, working to conserve water and use it responsibly and efficiently, reducing and diverting waste, and protecting forests, animal welfare, and human rights throughout our supply chain.

Code of Business Ethics and Conduct for Vendors

To ensure our vendors observe the same philosophy on responsible sourcing, we have established the RBI Code of Business Ethics and Conduct for Vendors (the "Vendor Code"). The Vendor Code communicates our requirements and expectations with respect to business integrity and sustainability, with regulatory compliance being a minimum standard of doing business with us.

All approved vendors will be required to certify their compliance with the Vendor Code through self-assessment questionnaires, prioritizing the highest risk vendors in 2020. Our compliance approach is supplemented with verification audits conducted for a sample of priority vendors. If RBI determines that a vendor has violated the Vendor Code, RBI may terminate its business relationship with the vendor or require the vendor to implement a corrective action plan.

In addition to the principles and requirements outlined in our Vendor Code, we are committed to improving our supply chain through a variety of commitments including those related to animal welfare, antibiotics and forests. In 2020, we upgraded our quality assurance system to better address the impacts of our sourcing, and to support the monitoring of suppliers’ animal welfare and deforestation policies, commitments, and independent certifications.

Assessing Product Impacts Over the Life-cycle

To identify our significant areas of environmental impact and opportunities to improve, and to track improvements over time, we commissioned a third-party (ERM) to conduct our first Lifecycle Assessment (LCA). This is a common methodology for assessing and documenting the environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a lifecycle of a commercial product, process or service.

The LCA leverages 2019 data, covering all of our food, beverage and paper spend incurred in restaurant, and identifying their environmental impact across carbon, water, and waste (as defined below).

  • Carbon – emissions of greenhouse gases, defined as CO2-eq
  • Water – the consumption of surface and groundwater throughout the supply chain of a product. Consumption is defined as loss of water through catchment area, evaporation, release to a different catchment, or incorporation into productions.
  • Food Waste – the decrease in edible food mass of food destined for human consumption throughout the supply chain

Our methodology combines RBI’s information on the approved food, beverage and paper products our restaurants source, the locations those products are coming from, and generic environmental data for the lifecycles of those products to estimate overall impact. We used generic data points in the absence of supplier specific data. For future LCAs, we will look to improve data granularity, working to obtain more visibility in the upstream supply chain in order to (1) collect supplier specific data and (2) enable supplier program development at the farm level.

The LCA we conducted will inform ongoing development of RBI’s responsible sourcing strategy, where we will initially focus on emissions reduction. This analysis is a useful input in the development of our target for GHG emissions reduction, and for our future work to develop strategies related to water and food waste management.

Click below to learn more about sustainable sourcing in our supply chain: