Monday, July 02, 2007

MacDonald's goes to bio-fuels

This is an example of where simple economics can encourage companies to play a more green role in the future. MacDonald's plans to convert its entire fleet of transport to bio-fuels, running on its own waste oils (see here). It's also pledging to cut its use of pure rapeseed oil in the manufacturing process - what's the betting it'll replace it with an oil that is more fuel-efficient? So long as that replacement oil is sustainably produced, MacDonald's can actually legitimately claim to have made a green statement of intent, however economically beneficial it turns out to be for the company (you won't find that making headline news, but why not?).

I'm not a fan of bio-fuels - they're not the answer for every single human with a car, but they're a good option for a minority of people, and it makes sense for a company like MacDonald's to convert one of its waste products into fuel for its own use in this way. Where possible other companies should follow suit, but overall we still need to accept that our overall consumption of oil - plant-based or otherwise - needs to be cut.

It's something we should look at in other areas too - the average family is unlikely to produce enough waste oil for its own car (or cars), but if like me you plan to start making your own jam, you can quickly build up a collection of suitable jars for no cost over the course of 6-12 months. And as my own falling carbon footprint attests, you'll be surprised just how far the little things will go...

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