The fight for a sustainable future is a constant battle, and whatever we contribute, to push the movement forward, matters. Therefore, we must act.
I started a year-long campaign around March 2019 entitled “McDonald’s: Prioritize Sustainability Now!” In my mind, I had 3 goals when I pushed for this campaign. One would be to encourage the fast-food chain giant, McDonald’s, to prioritize sustainability in all of their commercial operations. Second is to let business leaders know that we are not okay with them sabotaging our future in exchange for business profit. Lastly, it was to let everyone know that it’s totally okay to stand strong against all forms of environmental abuse happening today. As I look back today, I hope that this year-long journey was able to at least create a ripple effect in all of those seemingly unreachable goals.
This campaign was magic. It took me to a roller coaster ride, and I couldn’t be more grateful for all the help, the burning passion, and the solidarity that I have received from people all around the world. The tantamount support I received from friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers allowed me to reach 701 petition signatures submitted to 16 McDonald’s branches in 3 countries. I started this campaign thinking of just getting at least 100 signatures to submit to a handful McDo branches. Who would’ve thought this campaign would come this far. I will never ever forget the warm support this campaign has received. With that, the first words I would like to say is . . .
To Greenpeace Philippines and Bataris, for noticing and constantly sharing this campaign to their huge network of followers. I am perfectly aware that majority of the support I received were from the followers of these 2 noble organizations.
To my 18 volunteers, who helped me distribute my Open Letters and petitions to McDonald’s branches throughout the Philippines, I will not mention your names here one-by-one for privacy reasons but you are my/our heroes. Never in my wildest expectations did I think that my letter would reach places other than Visayas. My snappy salute to all of you. Padayon!
To those kind and brave advocates, who boosted the weight of the campaign by entrusting me with their signatures, by sharing the campaign online or offline, by believing in the advocacy. You are a constant source of strength. Many say that this advocacy for the Environment is doomed to fail, but your undying and burning passion proves them all wrong. If there is one thing that this campaign assured me, that would be the fact that there are countless of people all around the world who are fighting this battle with us. This campaign reminded me that we still have a lot of allies, that there are still many people who cares, and therefore, we should not lose hope.
And lastly, to all McDonald’s employees who welcomed our petition with open arms and open minds, you made the work a whole lot easier. Testimonies from the volunteers had stories about being shrugged off by some McDo managers thinking that the petition was just a nuisance, but those are just a handful of moments. Majority of the time during the distribution of the petition to the branches, the volunteers were met by empathetic McDonald employees who wanted to know more about the advocacy, who wanted to help, and who wanted to support the petition by making sure the feedback will be heard by their upper management. That support was priceless and reassuring. I couldn’t thank them enough.
All of these might have happened very quickly last year, but my heart is still full of gratitude and hope. I cannot fathom the amount of support this campaign has received, and I just want to thank you all very much.
The Results and the Impacts
With the contribution of everyone, we were able to submit and file the 701 signatures to 16 branches of McDonald’s in 3 countries:
- McDonald’s Ayala (Visayas, Philippines)
- McDonald’s Escario (Visayas, Philippines)
- McDonald’s JY Square Mall (Visayas, Philippines)
- McDonald’s Colon near Colonnade Mall (Visayas, Philippines)
- McDonald’s Fuente (Visayas, Philippines)
- McDonald’s Jones (Visayas, Philippines)
- McDonald’s Colon across Metro Colon (Visayas, Philippines)
- McDonald’s IT Park near The Walk (Visayas, Philippines)
- McDonald’s SM City Cebu Branch (Visayas, Philippines)
- McDonald’s EMall Branch (Visayas, Philippines)
- McDonald’s Marikina Sports Complex branch (Luzon, Philippines)
- McDonald’s Marikina near Bayan-bayanan (Luzon, Philippines)
- McDonald’s Marikina in C&B Mall (Luzon, Philippines)
- McDonald’s Imaike (Nagoya, Japan)
- McDonald’s Gokiso (Nagoya, Japan)
- McDonald’s Global (US Online Customer Feedback Center)
These may not be a direct effect of this campaign but last 2019, we have seen news about McDonald’s Philippines pushing for the following moves:
- Using reusable dine-in cutleries instead of the usual plastic ones
- Shifting from plastic to paper straws
- Minimizing the use of plastic bags
- Allowing their customers to use their own utensils during dine-in or take-out
- Considering to retain Sustainable Sourcing, sustainable packaging and recycling, and Climate Action in their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for 2020.
Perhaps there are still other recent good news that I have not heard of. I will also make sure to provide sources of these information when I find the time soon. For now, please allow me to celebrate the fruit of our hard labor and unity. For now, allow me to revel on the positive impacts that everyone was able to influence and create by pushing for this campaign forward. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
The Campaign has Ended, but the Fight Continues
This campaign has ended and yes we were able to create positive impacts, but there are still a lot of work to do. There are still countless corporations, like McDonald’s, that are treating the Climate Crisis like business-as-usual. There are still countless people who are Climate Change deniers. We still have ballooning solid wastes around the globe. Our Carbon Budget is still diminishing at an exponential rate. The number of Climate Refugees are still increasing. Off-the-charts natural disasters still keep on happening. The fight is far from over. With that, I hoping that the success of this campaign will encourage you to continue fighting. I hope, the existence of these types of campaigns will empower you to push our advocacy for the environment forward. I hope, you look at campaigns like this as patches of hope and sources of strength. I hope campaigns like this remind you that you are not alone in this movement.
It is my hope that we do not stop creating campaigns like this. It is my deep wishes that we still continue to create initiatives that will push our advocacies forward. Campaigns like this are not ignored. Campaigns like this are fires. This campaign has ended, but expect more initiatives in the future. Our advocacy is not a trend. This is a fight worth fighting for, so we will keep moving forward.