13 July 2020

McDonald’s Netherlands teamed up with oil company Neste and logistics firm HAVI to turn its used french fry oil into renewable diesel fuel. Launched this quarter, the circular economy partnership sees Neste convert the oil, which is then used in the HAVI trucks that deliver supplies to McDonald’s. The Neste MY Renewable Diesel emits up to 90% fewer greenhouse gases into the environment, as compared to diesel from fossil fuels. All 252 McDonald’s restaurants in the Netherlands will participate in the scheme, and Neste and HAVI are seeking to convert other restaurants’ cooking oil into renewable fuel. 

On the B2C front, this move taps into the idea of GUILT-FREE CONSUMPTION, considering that McDonald’s menu includes some of the most guilt-laden food items out there. The circularity scheme might make sustainability-minded diners feel better about scarfing down the 490 calories in a large order of fries. Sure, the oil may clog your arteries, but it won’t clog up the ozone!

Furthermore, it shows that any waste product can become a resource. Even ideas that seem like pipe dreams or school science fair projects – turning fry fat to fuel or used stockings into tables or old fishing nets into diapers – can become a sustainable reality. And even though McDonald’s stated that it’s “big enough to make a difference” through its initiative, the truth is: Your company’s size doesn’t necessarily dictate the difference it can make. Even if your organization is tiny, can you become just one link in a circular setup? Can you contribute your waste – don’t underestimate any of your byproducts’ potential! – to a larger, multi-brand scheme? 

Stay healthy,

The TrendWatching content team