Protecting Forests

According to the UN, more than 1.6 billion people depend on forests for food, water, fuel, medicines, traditional cultures and livelihoods ¹. Forests also support up to 80% of biodiversity on land and play a vital role in safeguarding the climate by naturally capturing and storing carbon ².

As a company with global operations and a complex supply chain, we acknowledge that we have an important role to play in eliminating deforestation within our industry and promoting sustainable forest management practices in commodity sourcing around the world.

Our Targets

At Restaurant Brands International (RBI), our goal is to eliminate deforestation from our global supply chain by 2030 or sooner. In this pursuit, we support the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) current definition of deforestation, as follows:

“Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land use such as arable land, urban use, logged area or wasteland” ³

In particular, we are working to develop a deforestation policy that outlines our goals to ensure our priority commodities do not directly or indirectly contribute to deforestation, promote responsible land use that prevents ecosystem degradation, and protect humane working conditions and legitimate land use rights.

We are focusing our efforts on priority commodities that are sourced in large volumes for our brands, either directly or indirectly, and where we can potentially leverage our scale for greatest impact – beef, palm oil, fibre-based packaging, soy in poultry feed, and coffee.

As part of our forest commitment, we are working with our approved supply chain suppliers and franchisees towards the following by 2030 or sooner for priority commodities:

  • No deforestation of primary forests
  • No deforestation of areas of High Conservation Value
  • No development of High Carbon Stock forest areas
  • No development on peatlands
  • The respect of human rights as per our Vendor Code
  • The right of all impacted communities to provide or withhold free, prior and informed consent

Our Strategy

We’ve been engaging with expert third parties, industry roundtables and suppliers on developing a deforestation policy that will support us in achieving our commitment to forests. The policy will outline requirements for both direct and indirect suppliers regarding:

  • Compliance (e.g. maintaining accountability via assurance programs)
  • Land use management and governance
  • Workers’ rights

Additionally, we know that each commodity is different and requires a tailored approach. As such, we’re working to outline the specific requirements per priority commodity in our deforestation policy, and have summarized key elements of each commodity-specific strategy to date below.



Beef

As one of the world’s major beef purchasers, we recognize the unique opportunity that exists across our brands to positively impact the beef supply chain.

Currently, all approved raw material suppliers of beef sourced from Brazil maintain active policies on illegal deforestation in the Amazon Biome. Many of such approved suppliers have also shared independent verification of their deforestation free credentials at our request.

Additionally, we are a member of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) and 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).”

Learn more about beef sustainability and our responsible sourcing approach here.



Palm Oil

At RBI, we prioritize the responsible sourcing of palm oil due to the inherent deforestation risk associated with its production.

We are actively working with our approved suppliers to source palm oil that does not contribute to deforestation4 nor agricultural development on peatlands. Our goal is that palm oil directly sourced and used as an ingredient at greater than 1% in our approved branded food products be supplied through a Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified supply chain, like Mass Balance, Segregated Supply or Identity Preserved, or be covered by RSPO credits to an equivalent volume, supporting the production of sustainable palm oil in countries where and when it is commercially available (excluding third party branded products, as well as cooking oil used in and food products sold in Turkey).

In 2021:

  • 87% of palm oil volumes within the scope of our Palm Oil Sourcing Policy5 was RSPO certified Mass Balance or better.


  • Fibre-Based Packaging

    We’re working with suppliers towards our goal to have all guest-facing fibre-based packaging come from certified or recycled sources in Burger King, Tim Hortons, and Popeyes restaurants. Today, we estimate that about 75% of this fibre-based packaging comes from recycled or certified sources. We consider certifications from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Forest Stewardship Council, or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification as acceptable ways to ensure that the fibre-based packaging we use in our restaurants is sourced from certified sustainably managed forests.



    Soy in Poultry Feed

    Our brands procure relatively small amounts of soy used directly as ingredients in our food products, however, we are a large buyer of poultry – which is typically fed soy.

    Knowing the origin of inputs to our products and being able to trace this through the supply chain is fundamental when it comes to validating that these inputs were not sourced from deforested areas. A key ingredient in animal feed, we recognize soy has high deforestation risk when sourced from certain regions.

    Given the complexity of global soy supply chains, we view any poultry sourced from outside North America (where soy used in poultry feed is locally produced) as high-deforestation risk.

    In 2019, we joined the Roundtable on Responsible Soy to better understand the latest efforts within the industry on traceability of soy as animal feed and to support the development of the traceability of soy industry-wide.

    In 2022, we continued to engage our suppliers and industry stakeholders to understand our global soy footprint. With this information, we plan to work with approved suppliers who share our goal of eliminating deforestation in our supply chains and advancing solutions that can serve the industry.



    Supplier Engagement

    Restaurant Brands International is proud to be a founding member of the CDP Supply Chain – Forests program, started in 2017. Through this program, we are working toward an industry movement to benchmark the management of priority commodities, by asking approved vendors to disclose information on these commodities and how they are managing risks related to deforestation.

    Since 2018, we have expanded our engagement efforts by reaching out to a broader group of suppliers, representing about 80% of our global spend in our priority commodities. Through this action, we are taking a meaningful step toward increasing transparency in our own supply chain and the broader business community, as well as allowing us the opportunity to build and better manage a more resilient supply chain.

    We will continue to work collaboratively within our supply chain, through global roundtables and with other organizations to identify opportunities and solutions to move closer towards our goal of eliminating deforestation from our supply chain.

    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

    ¹ – https://www.un.org/esa/forests/wp-content/uploads/bsk-pdf-manager/83_FACT_SHEET_FORESTSANDPEOPLE.PDF

    ² – https://www.worldwildlife.org/habitats/forest-habitat#:~:text=Unique%20Biodiversity,to%20more%20than%201%2C000%20species.

    ³ - https://www.fao.org/forestry/18222-045c26b711a976bb9d0d17386ee8f0e37.pdf

    4 - Deforestation defined by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization - https://www.fao.org/forestry/18222-045c26b711a976bb9d0d17386ee8f0e37.pdf

    5 - All palm oil directly sourced by the BURGER KING®, TIM HORTONS® and POPEYES® brands, and approved food products with greater than 1% palm oil/palm kernel oil as an ingredient, excluding third party branded products, as well as cooking oil used in and food products sold in Turkey.