Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fast food or fast service at McDonalds ?

So why do you go to McDonalds. For food or fast service ?

McDonalds have released their new interactive digital virtual on-line hyperlinked fourth CSR report. The last was in 2006. Took them 9.5 months, they said, in
an article in PR Week.

Now by now, you know that I am not a fan of digital formats. Give me a searchable, off-lineable, unhyperlinked PDF any day. So I was pleased to discover that there is a downloadable
minireport which I immediately downloaded.

The first thing I liked about the McDonald's mini is the key performance indicators from 2004 – 2007. This gives PERSPECTIVE and shows progress over a 4-year period. That, after all, is what sustainability is all about, right? The long haul. The 24 page minireport is well-written and targeted at the consumer – descriptive, plain language, not much data but exactly the sort of thing I expect people will be interested to read. It does contain interesting insights, the "did you know" section in each chapter offers 4 or 5 core pieces of information ,like the fact that McDonalds have a chef! ("Most people are surprised to find that McDonalds have a chef!), the first green restaurant in Sweden was opened in 2000, Nutrition Information Initiative for informing the consumer of all nutritional data of foods, Rainforest Protection Policy etc. Producing a readable summary in this way I suspect will encourage lay readership. And in so doing, will assist in broadening overall awareness for sustainability issues. But, as a professional, my thirst for data was not quenched by a mini 24 pager.

So I went to the cr report site: I soon began to tire of the long scroll-downs and I don’t have time to watch the videos so imagine my joy when I discovered you can download the FULL report – 92 pages.

I like the McDonalds report. Their treatment of the
Greenpeace onslaught where McDonalds admit they were "taken by surprise" and entered into dialogue with Greenpeace to develop sustainable solutions shows responsiveness and honesty in reporting. The section on employment experience is comprenehsive and shows good progress in development of the employment value proposition, something McDonalds has been criticized heavily for in the past.

The report was produced with guidance from CERES, it's GRI indexed but not assured. There is no declared reporting level, though this looks to me like a high B or an A.

McDonalds also takes care to note where the Company reports
around the world which I believe is an important element for global businesses. Global reporting for local stakeholders doesn’t work. A global framework is fine, but multinationals must recognize that their impacts are different each national location around the globe, so McDonalds 9 local reporting locations is good news.

Actually, I am appalled to find that I haven’t found anything terribly critical to say about this report yet. So here is the thing. When I take my kids to McDonalds, it's because it’s a FAST option. Fast food, right ? I can't find anything in this report about customer service and the way McDonalds manages to ensure both food quality, variety and the safety of Happy Meals as well as doing it all fast, so that we don’t have to wait in line for eons. Nothing about the customer in-restaurant satisfaction. The report is heavily slanted to supply chain issues. But I guess, and probably agree, that these are the most material.

So all in all, well done to McDonalds for a great report, well formatted, readable, material, specific on goals and targets and actually, fairly optimistic. Wow, now I am sooo hungry!

1 comment:

FabianPattberg said...

Nice blog post there Elaine. I am the same with McDonalds. I do not like their food, etc but their reporting is pretty solid.

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