McDonald's Restaurants Ltd
McDonald's UK and Earthwatch have been working together since 2009, when the restaurant chain first became a corporate partner.
The partnership is centred on engaging McDonald's 80,000 employees on environmental best practice, with a specific focus on sustainable coffee farming and production.
McDonald's is the largest coffee retailer in the UK and wants its employees to have a good understanding of:
- where McDonald's coffee comes from
- the people who are involved in growing coffee and helping it reach McDonald's 1,200 UK restaurants
- the practices which lead to more environmentally sustainable production of coffee around the world
Earthwatch partnered with McDonald's UK in 2009. In August 2010, eight McDonald's Crew joined an Earthwatch research project at one of the world's largest coffee cooperatives:
- To provide 8 McDonald's Crew with places on a field research project examining sustainability issues linked to coffee farming and production in Costa Rica
- To create a network of knowledgeable advocates for environmental sustainability
- To communicate McDonald's support for ethical sourcing and investment in its people
Employee engagement and learning:
Selecting the participants:
To select the crew members an internal competition was launched on ourlounge.co.uk, McDonald's crew website, which resulted in over 1,800 applications. From this a shortlist of 16 Crew were selected to attend an assessment day consisting of:
- Presentations and Q&A's from Earthwatch about the project
- Presentations from potential applicants to convince the panel that they deserved to go
- "The Crystal Maze Challenge" – a team challenge to identify skills and attributes of the potential candidates
Participation in field research:
In August 2010, the 8 selected McDonald's Crew will join an Earthwatch field research project in the Tarrazú region of Costa Rica, one of the world's largest coffee cooperatives. Here, they will work side-by-side with local farmers and Earthwatch scientists to learn about sustainable coffee farming practices and identify those practices which can be replicated in other coffee regions.
Individuals will have a hands-on experience and develop a connection to the natural world as well as enhanced communication and leadership skills. An Earthwatch facilitator will be present to offer support and guide group sessions in the evenings.