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NEWS

Investors call on fast food to reduce water use and emissions

Member exclusive by Peter Green for Water

If cattle were a country, they’d rank as the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, prompting a coalition of investment funds with over $6.5 trillion under management to call on Jan. 29 for six of the world’s leading fast food chains to present a plan to curb their greenhouse gas emissions and reduce their use of water.

The campaign is asking the six food companies, which together control about 120,000 fast food outlets worldwide, to devise plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and water waste across their supply chains. The six are Domino’s Pizza, McDonald’s, Burger King parent Restaurant Brands International, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Wendy’s, and KFC and Pizza Hut owner Yum Brands. The letter targets meat in particular, noting livestock farming makes up 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emission, and is responsible for about 10% of global water use.

Targeting their largest clients, the fast food chains, offers leverage, said Brooke Barton, senior director of water and food at Ceres, the Boston-based environmental non-profit that organized the campaign alongside UK investor network FAIRR.