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Outline Green Sourcing Processes for an Organization

Outline Green Sourcing Processes for an Organization

Sample Answer 

Outline Green Sourcing Processes for an Organization

Green Sourcing Processes for Mcdonald’s French Fries

McDonald’s is the largest food chain specializing in fast food dominating up to 68 million customers. It operates in 119 countries and has outlets that sum up to 36,658. The major food brands it offers include French fries, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, deserts, soft drinks and milkshakes. McDonald’s produces French fries that have been branded the world’s most famous fries produced from premium potatoes. The company enjoys a huge market share in the United States because it produces up to a third of all the fries. However, the company has witnessed criticisms because of their inability to follow green procedures and initiatives during the procurement of raw materials for French fries production.

Thus, it is essential to focus on giving McDonald’s recommendations on the ways of using green sourcing processes for French fries. There are two major steps for giving McDonald’s recommendations for production. First, the sourcing processes and practices that McDonald’s currently uses. Second, proposing the recommendations to be used in each step to enable the company to achieve a Green sourcing process for French fry production.

Literature Review: Current Process

The following ingredients are used in the preparation of French fries: Potatoes, Canola oil, Hydrogenated soybean oil, Safflower oil, Natural Flavor, Dextrose, Sodium acid pyrophosphate, Citric acid, Dimethylpolysiloxane, and Vegetable oil for frying.

The process starts at the farms, where the potatoes are harvested and prepared to be shipped off to the stores for McDonald’s. The process starts on a farm such as the Levesque farm, which supplies potatoes to McDonald’s in Canada. Different pieces of machinery are used. A harvester picks up the potatoes from the farms. Through a conveyor belt, the potatoes are moved to a truck. The truck transports the potatoes to a sorting stadium. At the sort stadium, the potatoes are put in a long conveyor belt to transport them into a dirt eliminator, removing most of the rocks and dirt (Bhasin, 2012). People remove any rock pieces or solid particles which pass the dirt eliminator at the end of the belt by handpicking. The potatoes are then loaded onto a truck once more and transported to the McDonald’s plant.

At the plant, the potatoes are received from approximately thirty growers in the local regions. The first process is cutting and washing the potatoes; they are then moved to a peeling system which removes the cover. The potatoes are then cut by another machine into strips. The next step is blanching the potatoes. The role of the blancher is to remove the natural sugars from the potato strips; this prevents color variation in the potatoes once they are re-cooked. As seen in restaurants, a dextrose solution is added to the strips to give them an even coat (Bhasin, 2012). Another ingredient is added to prevent the graying of the strips throughout the process. Now the strips go through a drying process which removes any excess moisture. The strips are finally stripped for about sixty seconds, after which they are frozen, packed and transported to the Mcdonald’s locations. At the restaurant, the potatoes are put into the fryer and cooked with 100 percent vegetable oil. Next, they are then dumped at the fry station, salted and packaged into red containers.

There are some shortcomings in the process that McDonald’s uses in the sourcing process of the ingredient required for preparing the fries. Since potatoes are the major raw materials, McDonald’s purchases more than 3.4 billion pounds annually across the United States. The preferred potato species is the Russet Burbank species, which is susceptible to diseases and rotting. As a result, it requires the use of a significant amount of pesticides to preserve crops. This causes the populations living near the farms to fall victim to the sprays blown by the wind and dust-laden with pesticides from the farms.

The pesticides harm the environment and also affect the potatoes used in the preparation of French fries. Every five days, almost 50,000 acres of potatoes grown in Northern Minnesota are sprayed with pesticides and chemicals to prevent fungus. The environmental protection agency carried out a study in 2006 and 2009 which showed that pesticides disrupt the development of children’s nervous systems. The farm workers can also develop complications such as abnormally shaped sperm.

Other than using procurement methods for fries that are not green, the company also fails to follow green initiatives when acquiring other ingredients. To produce French fries, McDonald’s uses Canola oil, most of which is now being extracted genetically. This might saturate the oil and make it unfit for human consumption.

Recommendations for McDonald’s

Aligning supply chain to green marketing needs

Initiatives for green sustainability transform markets and distribution channels. We should not leave the driver for sustainability to originate solely from an organization such as McDonald’s. This has been the attitude of many customers with regard to greener products, processes, and services. There is a clear interlink between the attitudes of the customers, supply chain and organizational relationships, as seen in both service and product markets. The making of greener supply chains to meet corporate missions and establish a competitive advantage is not properly understood, particularly the factors that face the integration of operational push factors and market pull factors. A study by Brindley and Oxborrow (2014) sought to explore the strategies, relationships, and processes associated with creating a sustainable supply chain and green marketing needs. It proposed a supply chain model which confirmed two alignment drivers, “lean and resource-efficient” and “local and seasonal.” The findings emphasize the reverse flow of information, the significance of the intermediaries, and a supply push of sustainable products.

Lean production

Another strategy that McDonald’s can use is using lean methods. Generally, lean production has been viewed as cost control and waste reduction. The lean strategies were pioneered by Toyota and have been implemented in different industries. Executives often wrongly believe that implementing lean practices will lead to lowered costs automatically. They should understand the system’s complexity before trying to improve it – In complex systems like McDonald small changes can result in large consequences that are not anticipated. Before attempting to improve any process to make it sustainable, the company must ensure they are properly understood. This may involve identifying opportunities which require only small changes that result in large positive problems. This is not always the case because the practices are carried out in repetitive production systems. McDonald’s can embrace the right paths to lean production to start the journey towards a more sustainable and greener procurement process. The right paths that can be adopted by McDonald’s are as follows:

  1. Implement lean at the time with the least number of disruptions – The company should not add lean changes to processes that are already fluid. The process must be tested to ensure it works before implementing it (Garza-Reyes, 2015).
  2. Understand the system complexity before trying to improve it – In complex systems like McDonald small changes can result in large consequences that are not anticipated. Before attempting to improve any process to make it sustainable, the company must ensure they are properly understood. This may involve identifying opportunities which require only small changes that result in large positive problems.

III. Processes should not be improved in isolation – Normally, the processes for making activities sustainable and lean do not only work on the process level. It would be like having one race car stuck in a jam.

  1. McDonald’s should re-conceptualize waste and value – the value of the implemented activities should be measured as a whole because the value of a system is different from the sum of its parts (Garza-Reyes, 2015).

Greenmarket development and private Eco-brands

The development of sustainable markets is increasingly becoming a challenge for private companies as opposed to governments and public companies. The latter is taking initiatives to promote production sustainability and consumption practices. The food sector, where McDonald’s falls, is in a good position to make its operations sustainable and also remodel the supply chain to attract more customers. A question that is often asked is the extent the retailers can live up to their role and take on the challenge of developing the market for sustainable products (Chkanikova & Lehner, 2015). McDonald’s can take on two tools that are prominent in the food industry: private eco-branding and third-party certification.

Certification and branding are different in their functionality. Eco-branding targets to capture more shares in the market by differentiating on the basis of their sustainability attributes. On the other hand, certification guarantees that processes and products and processes adhere to environmental, ethical and social standards in the value chain stages (Chkanikova & Lehner, 2015). The eco-brands and certification should be implemented at McDonald’s to address any inefficiencies and proactively implement sustainability strategies in consumption practices and food production.

Key elements for creating a sustainable supply chain

There is a need for McDonald’s to understand how they can engage the stakeholders and other suppliers on how to focus on sustainability. UNGC (2008) proposed a business approach for integrating sustainability into the supply chain with three schools of thought: strategic, incremental and transformation. McDonald’s can adopt the steps that UNGC outlined, the steps are discussed below:

  1. Set expectations – McDonald’s should communicate its expectations for sustainability to its suppliers and include these expectations in the contracts and the company’s code of conduct (Kashmanian, 2015).
  2. Monitoring audits – McDonald’s should assess its suppliers’ sustainability performance.

III.  Remediation and building capabilities – this will improve the performance of McDonald’s.

  1. Partnership – This will enable engagement to a deeper extent with the supplier to address the poor performance caused (Kashmanian, 2015).


Bhasin, K. (2012). A Step-By-Step Look At How McDonald’s Makes Its Fries. Retrieved from

Brindley, C., & Oxborrow, L. (2014, January). Aligning the sustainable supply chain to green       marketing needs: A case study.

Browning, T. R., & Sanders, N. R. (2012). Can Innovation Be Lean?. California Management          Review, 54(4), 5-19. doi:10.1525/cmr.2012.54.4.5.

Chkanikova, O., & Lehner, M. (2015, November). Private eco-brands and green market        development: Towards new forms of sustainability governance …

Kashmanian, R. M. (2015). Building a Sustainable Supply Chain: Key Elements. Environmental       Quality Management, 24(3), 17-41. doi:10.1002/tqem.21393.


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Week 7 – Assignment: Outline Green Sourcing Processes for an Organization


In an effort to enhance their image in the eyes of an eco-friendly consumer, McDonalds has hired you to provide specific recommendations for completing each step of the Green Sourcing process, limited to their French fry commodity.

Outline Green Sourcing Processes for an Organization

Outline Green Sourcing Processes for an Organization

Conduct research to capture a clear view of current French fry sourcing practices at McDonalds.  Then, create an outline of the Green Sourcing process for McDonalds.  Your outline should include the information defined within each step of the Green Sourcing process that is relevant to sourcing for the production and sale of French fries at McDonalds.

Your paper should include an introduction that contains the purpose statement for your work and the steps to be followed in the narrative.  This will demonstrate your understanding of how to approach the assignment, including the literature review and recommendations for action by McDonalds.

Length: 5-7 pages, not including assignment coversheet, title page, and reference page(s).  Use topic section headings for each step of the Green Sourcing process.

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