McDonalds and Sustainability –

– come to think of it…

McDonalds and Sustainability. Sounds extremly logical, doesn´t it? These days, the construction of the first sustainable McDonalds store, comes to an end in London. Does that mean, that in the future the well known Fast Food Chain won´t be the place anymore where uncritical and environmentunfriendly voices are still welcome? Probably not. It does sound great at first, but in no way believable. The ¨green¨ turn is placed in the context of the Olympic Summer Games in London this year. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) had the vision of an all-around effective event, not to miss out on the offered food. Luckily McDonalds is one of the main sponsors of the Games, besides well known cola and beer brands, and announced to make the vision real and serve high quality British food.

To put that to effect, the group built four supersize stores in the Olympic quarter. Needless to say, that part of the furniture can be recycled and reused later in one of the 15 new planned stores around the island. Pointed out very clearly is the dedication to energy efficiency, apparently something new for the chain. All these arrangements are in the spirit of sustainable development, which means there is nothing keeping the event from being anything else but sustainable… Except for the usual menu, rich on meat and fat, just as in every other such restaurant. But why not overlook this fact? After all the chocolate is going to be fair trade and the menu extended to fruit smoothies. That is all you need for being sustainable: Healthy, diverse food, the creation of 2000 jobs during the summer…

But wait a minute: 2000 employees selected from all over the world will get the chance to take part in making the world a better place. Certainly every single one of them is willing to charter their own plane to get to London; who cares about the environment more? At long sight, the most sustainable action of this Green Washing Campaign will be the dismantling of the four restaurants in Fall. And then, maybe, there will be some room for slowing down.

By Elisabeth Lena Aubrecht

Elisabeth Lena is studying Cultural Studies (B.A.) at Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany. She did a 3-months part-time internship at Cultura21. / Elisabeth Lena ist Studentin der Kulturwissenschaften an der Leuphana Universität Lüneburg und war Praktikantin bei Cultura21.