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McDonald's business ethics

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 3681 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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This report will aid McDonalds in identifying its core CSR strategies that will propel its business goals into the future. The report also identifies the business ethics that McDonalds has practiced over time and the impact of these business ethics to its strategic partners and customers. This report is thus an indicator of how well McDonalds is delivering its CSR and business ethics.

McDonalds being the world’s largest hamburger chain fast food restaurant owes the environment a lot in terms of its Corporate Social Responsibility. The environment in this case implies its customers, business partners as well as the public at large. The firm has played a large role in the past towards conserving the environment.

In addition, McDonalds continues to develop a sustainable supply chain for the benefit of its suppliers and distributors thus ensuring that there is continuous flow of business. McDonalds CSR revolves around sustainability. This is because the firm identifies that through sustainability, it will be able to get constant products that it uses to make the hamburgers as well as other fast food products. Sustainability also helps McDonalds in the sense that it will be able to sustain its distribution networks, thus benefiting a whole chain of distributors and suppliers.

Aim and Purpose

This report on the CSR and business ethics for McDonalds will aid the management and executives in the board of McDonalds to better deliver their CSR to their strategic business partners and the public in general. The report also illuminates areas that perhaps McDonalds should consider incorporating into its CSR plan for the next operating year.

This report shall assume certain factors. Firstly, that McDonalds CSR is uniform throughout all the countries that it operates fast food restaurants in. secondly, the report shall also assume that the CSR and business ethics that McDonalds has implemented and will implement have gained general acceptance amongst its business partners, customers and the public in general.

The limitations to this study include the fact that some of the CSR strategies that McDonalds has implemented are hard to measure. Most of the business ethics can only be explained but cannot be measured in definite terms. In fact, McDonalds cannot establish the extent of success that it has achieved in the past in regard to the CSR strategies.

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Situation Analysis

In each and every country, McDonalds has thrives to develop a menu that fits the tastes and culture of the people in those countries. This has made McDonalds unique in its delivery of fine and quality fast food products. Its CSR strategies have helped it to identify the needs of the people within these destinations and develop fast food solutions that best fits their needs. McDonalds is thus mindful of its customers’ diverse needs.

In addition, McDonalds strives to promote healthy diets that benefit its customer. Research reveals that fast food products are not good for the health, especially for the heart as well as the liver. However, McDonalds disputes this by developing and making fast food products that are free from cholesterol, fat that causes cardiac diseases.

The firm has also won several awards in environment conservation and employment sensitivity. McDonalds has no gender inequality whilst employing its staff from the regions where it has expanded. The company hopes to have trained and retrained all its employees in their respective fields by the end of 2012 (May, Cheney and Roper, p.32). According to an employee at the fast food restaurant in Europe, McDonalds is perhaps the best employer and always listens to the needs and demands of the staff; “the employment environment is one to die for.”

Factors and Discussion

This section will identify the various CSR strategies that McDonalds has implemented in the past, present and the future of these strategies. The factors are identifies in the ensuing paragraphs.


McDonald’s core values are all aimed at promoting the Corporate Social Responsibility of the firm. This is achieved through giving value to the customers, the supply chain as well as the other business partners with whom McDonalds does business. McDonalds indeed acknowledges the fact that its customers are the reason behind its success and existence. Therefore, the customers are very much valued within the company. The company thus strives to create a warm and welcoming environment for its customers.

Secondly, McDonalds values its employees and states that it is committed towards the career growth and development of its employees through a comprehensive training plan. This is perhaps the greatest CSR that McDonalds has. McDonalds believes in empowering and valuing the employees for increased commitment from them and their continued success.

McDonalds also maintains high business ethics and thus conducts its business with high ethical standards (Fisher and Lovell, p.33). The company conducts its business with high integrity, honesty and fairness for all its customers and suppliers.

McDonalds also values the community in which it operates and strives to give back to the society through sponsoring various community initiatives such as education. McDonalds believes in making the world a better place (Johnson and Turner, p.112).

McDonalds being a public company values doing profitable business with all its stakeholders. The company therefore lays much emphasis on profitable business while enforcing its business ethics across all its subsidiaries. This is achieved through maintaining high ethical standards.

McDonalds always strives to excel in whatever field it undertakes to operate in. constant improvement is achieved within the company through continued training and innovation. Thus, McDonalds has grown to become the world’s largest fast food chain of restaurants through its commitment towards achieving its CSR as well as maintaining good business ethics. According to Richardson (p.16), McDonalds has achieved much success through its good will initiatives worldwide, hence many customers identify with the positive side of the company.

Sustainable supply chain

McDonald’s suppliers are required to adhere to the strict Code of Conduct which enhances the supply chain ensuring that the fast food giant gets the best quality products as raw material for preparing the fast food restaurants. The firm values its supply chain in such a manner that there is no way a poor quality product can access the firm’s production unit.

In addition, there are checks and balances to ensure that only the best raw materials are used to prepare fast food products. These checks and balances often involve empowering the suppliers to supply quality products through training programs. In 2007, McDonalds established a strong supply chain department which ensures that the quality standards for its suppliers are continuously met by the suppliers (Hanekamp, p.14). The complexity of the supply chain requires that McDonalds maintains an effective communication amongst its suppliers in order to solve and avert problems at an early stage.

McDonalds always purchases its products from suppliers who only comply with the established code of conduct thus ensuring continued quality standards adherence (Gitman and McDaniel, p.34). Furthermore, McDonalds always strives to promote a supply chain that is positively supporting the environment. Thus, the supply chain of the fast food giant usually has no adverse effect on the environment.

McDonalds therefore supports an environment-friendly supply chain. The supply chain also aims at promoting a positive economic impact on the suppliers and the immediate beneficiaries. According to Crowther and Rayman-Bacchus (p.42), an effective supply chain is one where suppliers receive timely information that will enable them be able to succeed in supplying the best products for the fast food giant.

Andersen (p.24) suggests that McDonalds requires improving efficiency of its supply chain and reducing the bottleneck so that the Small and Medium Enterprises within countries where McDonalds operates may be able to benefit from the existence of McDonalds.

Nutrition and wellbeing

McDonalds is always committed to the wellbeing of its customers through producing fast food products that have no adverse health effects on the customers. The company follows the strict advice of its nutrition experts. There have been concerns about obesity that McDonalds has taken seriously and strived to avoid producing fast food products that may lead to obesity among its customers.

Moreover, McDonalds also promoted doing exercises as part of the health promotion program that it started in 1998 (Ferrel, Ferrell and Fraedrich, p.18). Exercising is an imperative activity that McDonalds acknowledges could reduce the health effects of fast foods. Nutrition experts also advice that eating fast food products is not harmful to one’s health for as long as they do enough exercises.

McDonalds encourages customer to make quality choices regarding its fast food products that will benefit their health. The firm discourages eating for the sake of it and insists on supporting healthy living (Rendtorff, p.142). McDonalds continues to develop high quality and a well balanced diet that serves the needs of its customers comprehensively. The firm has also developed a wide range of choices to enable its customers to choose from, thus increase customer satisfaction.

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The firm through its nutritionist has developed consumer-friendly nutrition information that enable the customer’s to gain useful knowledge regarding the fast food products that the firm sells across all its restaurants. This helps the consumers to make an independent choice regarding which fast food product to purchase. Today, a lot of the consumer choices are driven by the nutrition that McDonalds provides its consumers with.

McDonalds has strived to improve the communication that it has with its customers, especially children thus encouraging them to make wise nutrition choices. According to Hartman and DesJardins (p.76), McDonalds established the Global Advisory Council (GAC) which works in collaboration with the international teams to source for expert advice regarding nutrition and wellbeing.

Environmental responsibility

According to Kotler and Lee (p.19), McDonalds has won the Energy Star Partner of the Year award which is usually awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). McDonalds has been recognized for its massive efforts in reducing greenhouse emissions. The firm is sensitive to the environment and concerned more about the global warming. This has promoted the firm to save on energy and thus avert carbon emissions.

McDonalds takes its social responsibility concerning the environment seriously. The firm established its very own Global Environment Commitment (Houk and Williams, p.134). The company has continued to focus on improving its commitment towards the environment. As far as McDonalds CSR regarding the environment is concerned, the fast food giant has in the past and present focused on three main areas namely; energy efficiency, sustainable packaging and waste management as well as green restaurant design. McDonalds has sort to use more energy efficient strategies such as the use of natural gas in the fast food restaurants. McDonalds continues to seek ways of increasing energy efficiency. Furthermore, the fast food giant also seeks to reduce the impact of its operations on the environmental impact.

In addition, McDonalds continues to explore ways in which it can package the consumer’s product in packages that are easy to recycle and reuse. Malachowski (p.27) reveals that the company banned the use of plastics in packaging the fast food products. The firm continues to use paper-based packages though it is in a bid to look for an environmental friendly package. The firm has been criticized for using paper-based packages in the wake of the global warming panic. Paper comes from trees and thus by using the paper-based packages, McDonalds may have been going against the environmental preservation requirements.

Trevino and Nelson (p.47) reveal that McDonalds has an environmental department which attends the green house conferences in Geneva annually. These officials are in charge of ensuring that McDonalds continues to comply with the environmental laws of various countries where it is established.

Most of the restaurants belonging to McDonalds have adopted the green restaurant design which helps in saving energy. This has given McDonalds the opportunity to participate in the reduction of carbon emission through investing in energy efficient buildings. Most of the restaurants belonging to McDonalds have an open space which allows plenty of light to enter into the building thus saving the use of electricity during the day.

McDonald’s CSR supports the conservation of the environment through reduction of carbon emission as well as the green restaurant designs.

Employment experience

McDonalds has a policy within all its subsidiaries and fast food restaurants worldwide of giving its employees a priority over all other things. The firm indeed identifies that employees are core in the company’s success. McDonalds has in the past devised training programs aimed at employee development. Moreover, the firm empowers its employees to take up new challenges in the fast food market.

Furthermore, McDonalds supports human rights which forms part of it global business conduct. Respect to life and the preservation of human dignity has enabled the company to excel in its core relationship with its employees as well as customers and business partners. This has enabled McDonalds to grow through its appreciation of human life and dignity, an area where many other companies have failed.

Employee’s rights are a priority at McDonalds. McDonalds has developed a strategy that allows the employees relative freedom in working with the firm. There are three aspects of the employee priority virtues that McDonalds has identifies namely respect, commitment growth and talent enhancement (Hoffman, p.114). McDonalds has created a culture where every employee is respected and valued globally. In addition, McDonalds is committed towards realizing quality employees through comprehensive training programs and staff development strategies.

McDonalds identifies young talented graduates and employees then as graduate trainees thus ensuring that it acquires the right caliber of future employees. These young graduates are drawn from various hospitality colleges and universities across the globe. According to Mullerat and Brennan (p.22), McDonalds always strives to deliver quality employee training to its employees. Moreover, its employment policy is not biased against one kind of gender. There is an open approach towards those employed at McDonalds.

Every employee is thus a priority at McDonalds since the firm realized that its workforce holds the key to its valued success. This CSR involving valuing and respecting employees has enabled McDonalds to improve its service provision to its clientele.

Community responsibility

For ages, McDonalds has been supporting the Olympic Games through feeding program aimed at feeding the athletics. McDonalds is also involved in various charities and also supports education in the developing countries where it has its franchises and fast food restaurants. As part of its bid to return back to the society, McDonalds has sponsored several children programs involving eradication of illiteracy and poverty.

McDonalds also sponsors a number of events worldwide including the Olympic Games and walks. Over the past calamities, McDonalds has been involved in disaster response where it has supported the victims of such disasters. Just recently during the Haiti disaster, McDonalds moved in to donate a handsome amount towards the rebuilding of the destroyed country. According to Morris, Willey and Sachdev (p.54), McDonalds has also supported various community based programs such as sponsoring the education of poor children in India and Asia.


McDonalds has been able to achieve high success through its identification of the elements that make it succeed most. These elements include its employees, customers and the suppliers. McDonalds values its employees and has various training programs to support their bid towards an excellent service provision. The company draws its success mostly from its employees. McDonalds also hires quality and highly valuable employee’s thus ensuring continued success for the company.

McDonalds also draws its success from its highly valued customers. The company provides the customers with nutrition information thus ensuring that the customer makes informed decision. Moreover, the firm develops well balanced diets that meet the dynamic requirements of each fast food market. Indeed, customers have enabled the firm to develop strongly with most customers referring others to the fast food giant. The customers also benefit from the advice of the international nutritionists as well as the nutrition experts that are dissipated to McDonalds on a regular basis (Daft and Marcic, p.11).

McDonalds support for the environment has ensured that its CSR continues to grow. The firm has many ways of giving back to the community. McDonalds supports various sponsorship programs, the most profound being that which supports the education of children (Carter and Clegg, p.48). McDonalds also feeds the athletes at the Olympic Games. Poverty eradication has also been a priority for the company as it seeks to improve the standards of living.

McDonalds continues to support CSR and good business conducts and ethic across its operations, now and in the future to come through enhanced quality programs. Suppliers also form part of the core business that McDonalds supports. The suppliers are organized in supply chains to ensure that they continue to abide by the quality standards.


McDonalds should make us of solar energy, which is a renewable form of energy. This will go a long way towards ensuring that there is less carbon emission. The EPA would thus be pleased with the efforts propagated by McDonalds.

McDonalds should also run advertisements in the media to promote its balanced healthy diet. The advertisements should also contain nutrition advice on various ways of eating healthy fast food diets. The firm should also diversify its diets to ensure that it meets the requirements of different ages.

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