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Research Proposal Assignment: McDonald’s Contribution to Responsible Production & Consumption



Prepare a well-structured research proposal assignment analysing McDonald’s contribution and strategies for assuring responsible production as well as consumption.


Executive Summary
This research proposal assignment will focus on analysing McDonald’s contribution and strategies for assuring responsible production as well as consumption. The introduction part assures a clear analysing and overview of the industry and formulates potential research aims and objectives while mentioning a clear problem statement. Literature review enhances alignment of potential and existing literature to deliver suitable discussion of research context. Methodology part ensures understanding of methods and data collection tools and strategies, which will be used in the research for bringing out suitable research results.


Background and overview
McDonald’s is an American fast-food retail organisation, that have been founded in 1940 and it operates in more than 119 countries worldwide. Their operating income in 2019 has been $9.07 billion with a net asset of $32.811 billion in the same year (McDonald’s, 2021). They employ more than 210,000 employees and comprise various franchise units in global aspects.


Figure 1: McDonald’s assets

(Source: Statista, 2021)

One of the most important “Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)”is ‘responsible production and consumption’ (Huaccho-Huatuco & Ball, 2019). With respect to McDonald’s business operation, sourcing food along with packaging it responsibly is critical for aspiring to support a circular economy and enhance better sustainability. This research will focus on analysing McDonald’s contribution and strategies for assuring responsible production as well as consumption.

Problem Statement
“Responsible production and consumption”, is most likely of being strategic relevance to McDonald’s as it includes their business to utilise most efficient form of natural resources, while minimising different negative influence on people and planet (Ertz et al. 2018). The present issue is that current businesses tend to increase their profitability aspects disregarding their interests on attaining SDGs especially on responsible form of production as well as consumption. This research will bring out focusing on understanding McDonald’s way of reaching their commitment to this SGD while analysing and identifying their strategies of production along with consumption and management of waste. It will focus on a thing, which happens to packaging waste along with understanding supply-chain of McDonald’s retail outlets along with communities.

Research aim and objectives
This research aim to analyse and investigate McDonald’s business strategies and its influence on their contribution to assure responsible production as well as consumption

The objectives are as follows

  • To identify McDonald’s present strategies for supporting a circular economy
  • To analyse McDonald’s approach of sourcing food and packaging aspects
  • To recommend better strategic approaches that can help McDonald’s to attain suitable and responsible consumption as well as production

Research Questions

Q1. What are the current strategies of McDonald’s for supporting a circular economy

Q2. How does McDonald’s involve in sustainable food and packaging sourcing?

Q3. How can McDonald’s improve their business strategies for achieving responsible production as well as consumption?

Literature Review

Concept of Responsible Production and Consumption as a sustainable development goal
It is critical to note that potential concept of ‘sustainable production and consumption’, comprises of great form of topicality as well as importance. It implies responsible utilisation of goods along with services, which fulfils basic requirements while contributes towards making progress to people’s living standards. It also assures correlation with mitigating utilisation of natural form of resources along with toxic materials and polluting different emissions, during product lifecycles (Su & Chen, 2020). This is done concentrating on marking appropriate towards current generations’ requirements while not negatively affecting needs of future or upcoming generations.

In present global context, integration associated with SDG objectives remains at potential centre of different economic actions, which involves changing form of consumption as well as production standards of different businesses. It is estimated that within 2050, approximately 60% more food will be required for coping with increased form of demand from projected population in global context (Crumley et al. 2021).

Challenges for present businesses to attain responsible production and consumption
One of the greatest forms of global challenges for large businesses like McDonald’s is to integrate potential environmental sustainability with proper economic growth as well as welfare through decoupling degradation of environment from potential economic growth. The lack of management of waste emerges as a biggest form of challenge to present food businesses worldwide (Hernandez et al. 2020). Major examples will be KFC, which is responsible for producing nearly 2-cube metre of food waste on daily basis. Other major multi-national organisation that generates large amount of waste involves Pizza Hut and Burger King.


Figure 2: Waste generated on weekly basis

(Source:, 2021)

The represented figure above gives a proper understanding of weekly basis waste generated through major competitors of McDonald’s, which are Pizza Hut and KFC.


Figure 3: Animal agriculture emerging as a potential challenge

(Source: McDonald’s, 2021)

Other major challenge is increasing animal agriculture, which is responsible for 18% of greenhouse-gas-emissions (Tanner et al. 2021). Apart from lack of proper waste management, major consumption and production challenges involve lack of proper customer segmentation and unable to analyse actual consumption behaviour of customers.

The 3R model for reaching SDG of responsible production and consumption
The “Reuse, Reduce and Recycle (3R)”, model enhances three potential components to be responsible towards the environment.

  • Budgeting helps in reducing potential resource consumption of businesses (Derunova et al. 2019)
  • Materials produced through organisation can be reused and can be donated to different community centres (Padela et al. 2021)
  • Recycling manufactured products through food businesses such as packaging items, metal containers and plastic can be later processed into other groups, assuring better SDG achievement

Contextualising McDonald’s accountability as foundation of circular economy
A potential circular economy comprises of a present sustainable form of economic model that involves products as well as materials to be designed in such as manner, that they can be reused, recycled, recovered and potentially re-manufactured (Huaccho-Huatuco & Ball, 2019).

McDonald aspires to support more circular economy through concentrating on their fair and responsible sourcing and assuring a proper supply-chain management (McDonald’s, 2021). Apart from this, they have also committed to eliminate deforestation through pledging to enhance sustainable sourcing of their meat and grain products.


Research Design
This research will utilise data and information of secondary nature from fast-food industry (McDonald’s) for bringing out clear presentation of the research consequences. It will involve assuring an “Explanatory Research Design”, enhancing providing a deep form of insight into understanding McDonald’s approach towards assuring responsible form of production and consumption. It will involve utilising this research as a potential tool for leading to subjects, which will be dealt with incoming future (Asad et al. 2019). It will assure enhancing flexible approach for marking initial groundwork for assuring better research.

Data Collection Method and Sampling
This research will incorporate “Secondary Data Collection Method”, which will involve analysing and understanding of pre-existing data and information. It will concentrate on collecting secondary data from peer-reviewed journals primarily (Jindal?Snape et al. 2020). However, it will also collect supporting information about McDonald’s practices of production and consumption by analysing its annual reports and governmental records.

It will also analyse official website of McDonalds for bringing out a clear understanding of its extent of approaches to attain SDG of responsible form of production and consumption. Journals and supportive documents will be obtained from online platforms, therefore assuring purposive sample of materials for delivering best possible research results.

Data Analysis
This research will focus on delivering “Thematic data analysis”, after the secondary data has been collected (Terry et al. 2017). It will involve turning the findings into proper themes while closely analysing the collected data and information into proper patters for bringing out a potential research result.


Figure 4: Data collection and analysis

(Source: Researcher)

It will involve the researcher to familiarize with collected data while enhance best possible description of research content (Terry et al. 2017). It will also enhance an accessible form of approach to assure better flexibility of the outcomes.

Ethical Considerations
This research will also implement potential ethics to assure a sustainable research. It includes identifying potential data before releasing to researcher. It will involve protection and security of data used in the research. Anonymity and confidentiality of potential data sources will be utilised (Jindal?Snape et al. 2020). Furthermore, use of data or information will not result in any form of damage of distress. It will involve honesty and integrity in research conduction process.

Gant Chart



TIME (15 Weeks)

















Research and literature review


















Secondary Data collection


















Data analysis (Themes)


















Generation of outcome (Interpretation)


















Developing report and Final Review


















Research Submission

















Table 1: Gant Chart

(Source: Researcher)

Reference List
Asad, M. M., Hassan, R. B., Sherwani, F., Abbas, Z., Shahbaz, M. S., & Soomro, Q. M. (2019). Identification of effective safety risk mitigating factors for well control drilling operation: An explanatory research approach. Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology. Retrieved from

Crumley, E. T., Grandy, K., Sundararajan, B., & Roy, J. (2021). Media interviews as strategic external communication to maintain legitimacy for sustainability activities. Corporate Communications: An International Journal. Retrieved from

Derunova, E., Kireeva, N. A., & Prushchak, O. V. (2019). Inclusive development of the agri-food system as a driver for sustainable growth in the region’s economy. Scientific Papers Series Management, Economic Engineering in Agriculture and Rural Development, 19(3), 165-174. Retrieved from

Ertz, M., Durif, F., Lecompte, A., & Boivin, C. (2018). Does “sharing” mean “socially responsible consuming”? Exploration of the relationship between collaborative consumption and socially responsible consumption. Journal of Consumer Marketing. Retrieved from

Hernandez, R. J., Miranda, C., & Goñi, J. (2020). Empowering sustainable consumption by giving back to consumers the ‘right to repair’. Sustainability, 12(3), 850. Retrieved from

Huaccho-Huatuco, L., & Ball, P. D. (2019). The quest for achieving United Nations sustainability development goals (SDGs) Infrastructure and innovation for responsible production and consumption. Research proposal assignment RAUSP Management Journal, 54, 357-362. Retrieved from

Jindal?Snape, D., Hannah, E. F., Cantali, D., Barlow, W., & MacGillivray, S. (2020). Systematic literature review of primary?secondary transitions: International research. Review of Education, 8(2), 526-566. Retrieved from

McDonald’s, 2021, Sustainability and diversity inclusion, Retrieved on 24th August from

Padela, A. I., Malik, S., Vu, M., Quinn, M., & Peek, M. (2018). Developing religiously-tailored health messages for behavioral change: introducing the reframe, reprioritize, and reform (“3R”) model. Social Science & Medicine, 204, 92-99. Retrieved from, 2021, Understanding Sustainability, Retrieved on 24th August from

Statista, 2021, McDonald’s, Retrieved on 24th August from

Su, C. H. J., & Chen, C. D. (2020). Does sustainability index matter to the hospitality industry?. Tourism Management, 81, 104158. Retrieved from

Tanner, G., Schümann, M., Baur, C., & Bamberg, E. (2021). Too fatigued to consume (ir) responsibly? The importance of work?related fatigue and personal values for responsible consumption. International Journal of Consumer Studies. Retrieved from

Terry, G., Hayfield, N., Clarke, V., & Braun, V. (2017). Thematic analysis. The SAGE handbook of qualitative research in psychology, 2, 17-37. Retrieved from


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