Beef

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

Collaborate for industry-wide improvements

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

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 a sustainable procurement strategy for key categories, like beef. We’re further along in our development of our beef procurement framework that focuses 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.

As a next step, we are working with internal and external stakeholders to finalize our frameworks so we can embed them into the procurement process and ultimately assess our suppliers versus the framework, 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.

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.

Learn More →

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 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 biodiversity. 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.

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 of removing 904 million miles driven or the energy to power 43,000 U.S. homes for one year1

1 www.epa.gov/energy/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 feed additives.


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, and 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.

GRSB

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).”

USRSB

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.

Partnerships

Disclosures

GRI

  • GRI 301: Materials
    • 103-1
    • 103-2
    • 103-3
  • GRI 308: Supplier Environmental Assessment
    • 103-1
    • 103-2
    • 103-3

SASB

  • FB-RN-430a.1