Social Responsibility Meets Ronald McDonald

On April 14, McDonalds issued a self-congratulatory Report on Corporate Social Responsibility, boasting that it is "working with experts" such as The Natural Step to address concerns about "globalization, nutrition, and the environment." But according to author and leading Natural Step advocate Paul Hawken, the report is "a low water mark for the concept of sustainability and the promise of corporate social responsibility. It is a melange of homilies, generalities, and soft assurances that do not provide hard metrics of the company, its activities, or its impacts on society and the environment. ... The McDonald's Social Responsibility Report is like Ronald McDonald - a fantasy. It presupposes that we can continue to have a global chain of restaurants that serves fried, sugary junk food that is produced by an agricultural system of monocultures, monopolies, standardization and destruction, and at the same time find a path to sustainability. ... Nothing could be further from the idea of sustainability than the McDonald's Corporation." Hawken has compiled a list of issues that McDonald's did not deal with in its report.