The Battle To Do Good: Inside McDonald’s Sustainability Journey

Bob Langert
Retired VP CSR & Sustainability, McDonald's Corporation

Product Details
19 Jan 2019
Emerald Publishing Limited
280 pages - 152 x 229mm


In The Battle to Do Good, former McDonald's executive Bob Langert takes readers on a behind-the-scenes eye witness account of the mega brand's battle to address numerous societal hot-button issues, such as packaging, waste, recycling, obesity, deforestation, and animal welfare. From the late 80s, McDonald's landed smack in the middle of one contentious issue after another, often locking horns with powerful NGOs such as Greenpeace, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, and Corporate Accountability. 

This sudden shift from being the beloved Golden Arches since opening its doors in 1955, to the demon of many societal ills, caught McDonald's off guard. Langert chronicles the highs and lows that McDonald's experienced in turbulent times and how its sustainability journey evolved from playing defense to strategically solving issues with unlikely partners, including a whirling dervish, autistic animal scientist, and avid environmentalists from the World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International. 

Packed with first-hand anecdotes, interviews with key McDonald's executives and NGO leaders, and scores of lessons learned, The Battle to Do Good is a sustainability page turner that provides unique insights and guidance on how to successfully navigate and manage today's societal issues to make the business stronger, more relevant, and more profitable.
Introduction. From Defense to Offense 
Chapter 1. The Battle Against Waste 
Chapter 2. The Battle for Farm Animals 
Chapter 3. The Battle of Extremism: McCruelty 
Chapter 4. The Battle to Be Proactive 
Chapter 5. The Battle of the Waistline and Brand Health 
Chapter 6. The Battle for a Sustainable Supply Chain  
Chapter 7. The Battle for Values 
Chapter 8. The Battle Goes to the Board Room 
Chapter 9. The Battle for the Amazon Rainforest 
Chapter 10. The Battle to Make a Pig’s Life Better 
Chapter 11. The Battle for Better Beef 
Chapter 12. The Battle to Lead Both Business and Society
Bob Langert led McDonald’s Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability efforts for more than twenty-five years before retiring in 2015. Currently he is a columnist and editor-at-large for the GreenBiz Group and Senior Sustainability Advisor for The Context Network, the premier global and agribusiness consulting firm in advancing agriculture. He has been engaged in social responsibility issues at a global level since the late 1980s, leading environmental affairs, animal welfare, and Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities’ grants. He was appointed McDonald’s first vice president to lead sustainability in 2006 with contributions spanning sustainable fish, coffee, palm oil, beef, packaging, extensive animal welfare progress, and nutrition strategy. In 2007, Langert was named as one of the 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics by Ethisphere.
"The Battle to Do Good: Inside McDonald’s Sustainability Journey is a must-read even for those who are cynical about the business of corporate social responsibility." - The Economist

"If you're interested in the changing consumer marketplace and how societal demands will directly impact how you run cattle at home on the ranch, this book is definitely a page turner worth reading. It's insightful, honest and really gives a glimpse at the changing dynamics of retailers, supplier and consumer relationships." - BEEF Magazine

"Bob is a terrific storyteller - and man, does he have stories: battling with Greenpeace and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals; collaborating with Environmental Defense Fund and World Wildlife Fund; engaging Dr. Temple Grandin, the animal welfare guru; enlisting big suppliers like Smithfield and Cargill; convening the beef industry to define sustainable beef; and getting buy-in from an ever-changing cast of McDonald's executives... His remarkable story is not just a great read about an enviable career, but a hero's journey through the history of sustainable business and what it takes to be a leader, sometimes against the greatest of odds." - Joel Makower, GreenBiz

"A 'sustainability page-turner' is not a description one often finds associated with books in the usually heavy-going world of corporate responsibility. In the case of The Battle to do Good: inside McDonald's sustainability journey, just published in hardback by Emerald Publishing, the marketing claim rings true." - Corporate Citizenship

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