McDonald's ramps up sustainable packaging efforts
McDonald’s has been a proactive force on the sustainability and CSR scene for a number of years, from encouraging young customers to opt for fruit bags rather than chips to sourcing sustainable meat for its burgers. With such a bright spotlight on the plastics crisis, it is no surprise that the fast-food giant is now tackling the sustainability of its packaging in earnest.
Under its ‘Better M’ platform, McDonald’s has unveiled a broad range of packaging initiatives in action across its European operations aimed at driving down its plastics usage in a manner that best fits its customers.
McFlurries will no longer have their signature plastic lids and their plastic spoons are due to be replaced with alternatives, a fibre-based lid is being rolled out in France for its cold drinks, and Happy Meal toy take-back programmes are being trialled in the UK. In line with meeting customer expectations, McDonald’s is also redesigning its paper straws to improve their strength.
The options, bar the decision to remove all McFlurry lids from its European outlets by the end of 2020, are being trialled at various outlets across the continent with the aim of collating direct consumer feedback and leveraging that data to best optimise and scale the alternative packaging solutions for full-scale rollouts.
In its press release on the matter, McDonald’s said its fibre-based packaging in Europe already accounts for 88% of the total over the 78% across its global operations, adding that the changes will nonetheless be impactful for its wider sustainability goals.
The removal of McFlurry lids, for example, will save 1,200 tonnes of plastic each year. The same volume of plastics will be saved in France alone through the introduction of fibre-based drinks lids, with those materials to come from 100% certified sustainable sources.
ASCM: Supply chain pay gap closes in under 40s
The pay gap between men and women working in supply chain under the age of 40 has finally reached parity, according to the Association for Supply Chain Management’s latest annual Supply Chain Salary and Career Report.
The gender pay gap in this age group had been narrowing over the past two years, the ASCM’s previous surveys show, and in 2021 has closed entirely. Women report a median salary of $81,000 annually, while men earn a median annual salary of $79,000. Across all age brackets, men report a median salary of $82,000 and women $80,000.
Other highlights from the ASCM report
- 95% of supply chain professionals kept their job through the pandemic
- The typical starting salary for a supply chain professional is $60,000
- 48% of supply chain professionals now work from home
- 88% of survey respondents find supply chain a fulfilling career path
But there is still work to be done in closing the divide in those over the age of 40. Older men are still earning far more than their female peers, with a discrepancy of between $12,000 and $23,000 annually. ASCM’s report does not definitively conclude why this disparity remains, but says women who began their careers several decades ago may have started out on lower salaries. They may also have missed out on steady wage increases and career development after taking time away from work to have and raise families.
It is also likely that the pay gap in over 40s is affected by a lack of women in executive leadership positions. A recent Gartner study found that, while women now represent 41% of the supply chain workforce - a five year high - only 15% of executive level positions are held by women. That figure is a decline of two per cent on 2020.
Supply chain’s racial pay gap remains
For the first time, ASCM’s annual survey also looked into the pay gap between ethnicities, finding that the median salary for black professionals was 12% less than their white peers, and Latinos earned on average 14% less. That represents a divide of between $9,000 and &10,000 in real terms. Asian professionals earned a median salary of $80,000, compared with the $83,000 for white professionals.
Abe Eshkenazi, the ASCM chief executive, said reporting on and acknowledging lingering wage disparity was not enough: “Supply chain organisations must lead the way by creating environment where diverse talent is valued, included and developed. The need for supply chain professionals has never been greater, so now is the time to expand the aperture to include diversity of thought, influence and input — particularly for women and people of colour.”
Read the full report: ASCM 2021 Supply Chain Salary and Career Report