Wendy's to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 47% Across Its System

Today, The Wendy's Company announced near-term, science-based targets to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 47% by 2030 across its global System.

Feb 9, 2023 - 12:53
Wendy's to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 47% Across Its System

Today, The Wendy's Company announced near-term, science-based targets to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 47% by 2030 across its global System. The goals, which were recently approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), underscore Wendy's commitment to transparency and mitigating its climate impact.

Wendy's Near-Term Science-Based Targets
Compared to a 2019 base year, by 2030, Wendy's goal is to reduce:

  • Absolute Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 47%
  • Scope 3 GHG emissions intensity by 47% per metric ton of purchased goods
  • Scope 3 GHG emissions intensity by 47% per franchise restaurant

To make these meaningful cuts, Wendy's will work throughout its System, including Company operations, and cooperatively with franchisees and suppliers, to turn commitment into action. Wendy's estimates that achieving the goal would avoid approximately 7.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent compared to business as usual, which is equal to removing more than 1.5 million gas-powered vehicles from the road in a single year.  

"We recognize our role in using resources and energy, and we continue to prioritize delivering more to our customers with a smaller environmental footprint," said Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer Liliana Esposito. "With our newly validated science-based targets, we have completed our climate roadmap nearly a year ahead of schedule, accelerating our journey to mitigate our climate impact."

Wendy's Scope 1 and 2 science-based target aims to reduce emissions within Company operations at a pace consistent with keeping warming below 1.5°C, which aligns to the latest science, based on findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This designation is the most ambitious designation available through the SBTi's validation process, which aims to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

"Today, Wendy's joins the growing list of companies with science-based targets consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C," said Luiz Amaral, Chief Executive Officer of the Science Based Targets initiative. "We now need more corporate actors to set ambitious targets like Wendy's."

Through the process of setting its Scope 3 science-based targets, Wendy's identified two areas of focus for emissions reductions: purchased goods and franchised restaurants. Purchased goods, such as food and packaging, represent nearly 85% of the System's Scope 3 emissions while Wendy's more than 6,500 franchised restaurants contribute approximately 10% of Scope 3 emissions. Collaboration throughout the Wendy's value chain will be critical to achieving its Scope 3 targets, which are aligned to SBTi's well below 2°C criteria.

Working Across Wendy's Restaurants and Value Chain

Wendy's work to cut emissions within Company operations (Scopes 1 and 2) and within the Wendy's value chain (Scope 3) is expected to reach across the System of more than 7,000 restaurants. Areas of focus may include:

  • Identifying projects that enable a renewable energy transition, soil health restoration and manure management, among other objectives
  • Collaborating with suppliers in scope for Wendy's goal related to Responsible Sourcing to identify ways to reduce emissions or sequester carbon in their operations and shared supply chain
  • Developing a renewable electricity procurement strategy across the Wendy's System, starting with participation in Duke Energy Florida's Clean Energy Connection pilot program, which supplies select Company restaurants with solar energy
  • Partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings® Initiative to benchmark utility data for Company restaurants and franchisees, leading to greater efficiency and energy savings
  • Improving energy efficiency through equipment retrofits and upgrades in Company-operated restaurants and at Wendy's Restaurant Support Center
  • Leveraging Wendy's Global Next Gen design standard for new restaurant builds, which is approximately 10% more energy efficient than Wendy's most common existing restaurant format
  • Exploring place-based projects that assist suppliers in adopting more climate-friendly practices and are tailored to local and/or regional ecosystems
  • Transitioning Company-operated restaurants and Wendy's Restaurant Support Center to use refrigerants with a lower global warming potential, while sharing best practices for franchisee adoption

In 2021, Wendy's committed to and began executing on a climate roadmap with the goal of establishing a science-based target and interim milestones for completion by the end of 2023. These milestones included benchmarking, tracking and reducing Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 GHG emissions and reporting to CDP Climate Change Disclosure.