Its burgers might be considered junk food, but McDonald's latest initiative to buy coffee beans grown in environmentally-friendly conditions, might prove to be the fast food giant's first step towards going green.
The fast food chain has announced that next year onwards its 484 cafes will switch to coffee brought from South American plantations with the highest environmental standards.
In fact, from March next year, all McDonald's coffee, that includes the filtered variety served at its drive-ins and restaurants, will bear the green frog label of the New York-based environmental organisation Rainforest Alliance.
According to McDonald's chief operating officer, Catriona Noble, research showed that people "wanted to make a positive contribution", and that buying a "sustainable" cup of coffee was one such way.
"Wanting to make the world a better place is no longer a niche [ideal] but a mainstream one," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted her, as saying.
McDonald's, which makes about 5000 cups an hour and collects 20 per cent of the 1.15 billion dollars Australians spend on coffee in cafes, will be exerting pressure on other chains to stop sourcing coffee planted in land cleared of rainforests.
McDonald's, Gloria Jeans, Starbucks and other retailers are jostling in order to make profits in the growing market for goods made ethically.