McDonald's: A Sustainable Finance Case Study

Erasmus Platform for Sustainable Value Creation, September 2019

28 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2019

See all articles by Willem Schramade

Willem Schramade

RSM Erasmus University; Sustainable Finance Factory

Date Written: September 24, 2019


This is the third in a series of RSM case studies on sustainable finance. Using a list of questions, we show how to integrate sustainability into investment analysis by connecting sustainability to business models, competitive position, strategy and value drivers. Here the questions are answered for McDonald’s, a company that faces substantial sustainability challenges, on both the social (health) and environmental (footprint) dimensions. Our findings suggest that McDonald’s is not as well positioned as Philips, but much better than Air France-KLM. Unlike the latter, McDonald’s does have significant options to deal with its sustainability issues. However, our ability to properly assess its transition preparedness is hampered due to the absence of essential data: McDonald’s sustainability reporting is limited and lacks targets and numbers. Unfortunately, this is typical of current reporting practices.

Keywords: sustainable finance, ESG, sustainable investing, Case study, externalities

JEL Classification: G24, G32, G34

Suggested Citation

Schramade, Willem, McDonald's: A Sustainable Finance Case Study (September 24, 2019). Erasmus Platform for Sustainable Value Creation, September 2019, Available at SSRN:

Willem Schramade (Contact Author)

RSM Erasmus University ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T09-53
3000 DR Rotterdam

Sustainable Finance Factory ( email )

Rotterdam, 3034 SG
0682011037 (Phone)

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