Think it’s enough to just talk about plastic? Think again.

by Sarah De Salis

26th September, 2019

Last week, Burger King announced that it’s ditching all plastic toys from children’s meals as a major step away from single-use plastics. They’re also providing bins in their restaurants to collect old toys, with the move predicted to save 320 tonnes of plastic a year.

Great news, right? Of course, it’s fantastic to see brands finding new ways to take action on sustainability in areas really relevant to them. But it was also interesting to see how Burger King has taken a grilling (no pun intended) on its wider sustainability credentials following this announcement. Their UK CEO Alasdair Murdoch was challenged over their beef and soy policy on live breakfast TV, while Greenpeace carried out a stunt on Burger King’s flagship Leicester Square restaurant to link their sourcing approach to Amazon fires and deforestation. 

Burger King is clear that it sources 100% British and Irish beef, has a sustainable soy policy and works in partnership with its suppliers to source ingredients and raw materials “with minimal impact to the environment”. They’ve said they’re keen to engage with Greenpeace, too. However, it’s a good reminder of the scrutiny businesses and brands come under when it comes to purpose-led marketing and communications. When you talk about purpose, it has to be deeply rooted in your business and demonstrated right across the board. When it comes to sustainability, it’s a good lesson on making sure your spokespeople are thoroughly prepared to talk the proof points of your wider commitments – even if you are announcing a great story on plastic.

If you’re looking at sustainability or corporate purpose and want to review your communications approach, let us know – we’d love to talk to you.

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