Yum China’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions reflects the necessity of a corporate ‘green’ position, says GlobalData

Following the news that Yum China has committed to the global Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to reduce its carbon emissions;

Fred Diamond, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“In recent years, there has been mounting pressure on businesses, particularly those with consumer-facing brands, to join the good fight and prove to consumers their seriousness about doing their part to combat the prospect of runaway climate change.

“In fact, GlobalData’s 2021 Q1 consumer survey reveals that 29%* of 25–34-year-olds globally say that ‘information about carbon footprints’ is essential to their purchasing choices, while 45% say it is positive ‘but not essential’. Though the numbers in favor of carbon footprint information are highest amongst this age group, the global total is not much different.

“China has been tackling its own emissions, with the government fully aware that a shift to renewable and sustainable business practices is already underway. As a consequence of the growing consensus between the world’s two largest polluters (US and China) regarding climate change, whether it’s a western business in China, or a Chinese business in the West, climate credentials are under scrutiny from both the public, governments and businesses. Yum China is acknowledging the fact that taking no responsibility for carbon output is no longer an acceptable corporate position.

“The world has not yet reached the stage where such initiatives are legal requirements. However, brands who do so now, of their own volition, will be credited as leaders of this positive change. Yum is not the only company making this pre-emptive move towards carbon-neutrality. It is joining other well-known global brands including JBS, Grupo Bimbo and McDonald’s. In China, Yum’s move makes it the first foodservice operator to commit to this scheme, and this could well encourage other foodservice operators to get on board.”

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