Some time ago, Mcdonald’s Sweden created a buzz with their ‘tiny restaurant for bees,’ which helped to bring attention to the bee crisis – colonies are dying off at unprecedented rates and we should all be concerned by this.
Now, they are at it again by creating small ‘bee hotels’ on the back of their billboards. NORD DDB, the creative agency behind McDonald’s Sweden’s bee-focused architecture, explained to DesignTAXI that 30% of wild bees in the country are threatened, mainly because they do not have enough resting areas.
So the company teamed up with outdoor advertising firm JCDecaux to turn the backs of its billboards into tiny “hotels.”
McDonald’s spend over $1.8 billion every year worldwide on advertising and promotions, trying to cultivate an image of being a caring and green company. While these localized efforts to promote biodiversity of bees are great – there are currently 6 ‘hotels’ so far, set up on the back of a single billboard – they pale in comparison to the damage that the company does to the environment as a whole.
As well as contributing to deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions over the years through its intensive need for meat, poultry and products like palm oil, only 50% of Mcdonald’s guest packaging comes from sustainable sources and only 10% of its restaurants are currently recycling.
However, they are taking steps to improve. “Our customers have told us that packaging waste is the top environmental issue they would like us to address,” Francesca Debiase, McDonald’s chief supply chain and sustainability officer, said in a statement.
By 2025 the company wants to have 100% of its customer packaging come from renewable, recycled, or certified sources and have recycling available in all its restaurants.
Noble aims and big promises, but will they live up to their desired image of environmentally-conscious trailblazers? Or are they simply token gestures of greenwashing designed to get people talking about them in a positive light?
Only time will tell. Meanwhile, McDonald’s Sweden and JCDecaux plan to expand its chain of ‘bee hotels’ in spring 2020 if all goes well with this one.
You can see a video about the ‘bee hotels’ here
Mcdonald’s Sweden previously hit the news with this tiny restaurant for bees
Image credits: NORDDDB
Image credits: NORDDDB