Green Alliances: McDonalds and Environmental Defense

Powerful Essays
Green Alliances: McDonalds and Environmental Defense

On August 1, 1990, Shelby Yastrow, McDonald’s Senior Vice President of Environmental Affairs, and Fred Krupp, Environmental Defense’s Executive Director, announced that the company and the organization would form a partnership with the goal of improving waste management at McDonald’s. The announcement came as a surprise to many outside of McDonald’s and Environmental Defense; the alliance of the world’s largest fast-food company with one of the country’s oldest and best-known environmental organizations seemed improbable. McDonald’s seemed a more likely target for Environmental Defense’s litigation than a potential partner. Reaction to the announcement was mixed. Many, such as the Wall Street Journal, applauded the decision to cooperation, saying that the alliance could “break ground in the fight to protect the environment.”[1] Others, such as Warren T. Brooks of the San Francisco Chronicle, accused McDonald’s of caving into pressure from the “elitist yuppies”[2] of Environmental Defense. Still others, like Hans Schuttle of the Boston Globe, feared that Environmental Defense was catering to big business and “watering down” its stands.[3] McDonald’s and Environmental Defense themselves seemed unsure of the direction the partnership would take. Krupp spoke of “work[ing] together to improve the environment,” but also cautioned, “we’re always ready to roll out the heavy artillery.” Yastrow likewise expressed cautious optimism about the partnership. In this, Krupp and Yastrow were acknowledging McDonald’s and Environmental Defense’s very different histories and perspectives, yet they were also implying that each had evolved enough to a point where they were in a posit...

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...26], updated 8/21/00, accessed 11/16/00.

[27], updated 8/21/00, accessed 11/16/00.

[28], updated 8/21/00, accessed 11/16/00.

[29] Langert, 12/4/00.

[30], accessed 11/16/00.

[31] Livesey, p. 5

[32] Livesey, p. 11

[33] Langert, 12/4/00.

[34], accessed 12/7/00.

[35], accessed 11/23/00.

[36] National Resources Defense Council website,, accessed 11/14/00.

[37], accessed 11/23/00.
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