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New Report on Fast Food Industry in India Calls on Multinationals to Limit Greenhouse Gas Emissions

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new report released today by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) studies few of the fastest growing multinational fast food chains in India, which are some of the country’s largest contributors to hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) emissions.

The report, Transitioning HFCs in India, The Opportunity for Climate Friendly Cooling in the Fast Food Industry, looks at American-based companies like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Subway, and Dunkin Donuts, as well as Indian-based company Café Coffee Day, and UK-based Hindustan Unilever. Just the eight fast food chains covered in the report could add the equivalent of nearly one million tons of carbon emissions by 2020.

“Developing countries like India are expected to join a global HFC phase down, and it behooves multinational corporations to do their part for the climate,” said Avipsa Mahapatra, EIA Global Climate Campaign Director. “With climate friendly, cost effective technologies already available, these companies have no excuse to rely on super greenhouse gases. We call on these companies to recognize the enormous potential for emissions reductions in India by reducing their refrigeration footprint, and publicly commit to not install HFC-based equipment in their new stores from 2019.”

The Indian fast food industry is expected to grow from $15 billion in size to more than $50 billion over the next five years. McDonald’s, with more than 350 stores in India and growing, has not transitioned to climate friendly alternatives in India, but in its Europe facilities, has installed over 13,500 pieces of HFC-free equipment since 2010 and has piloted an entirely HFC-free store. Subway, the largest fast food chain by store count in the world uses hydrocarbons in back counter chillers in the United Kingdom and Ireland, but has no stated intent of going HFC-free in India.

EIA calls on the Indian government to ban the use of HFCs with a global warming potential higher than 1,000 in new food and beverage refrigeration equipment beginning January 1, 2018 in multinational food and beverage retailers.

The Parties to the Montreal Protocol will meet in October to reach an agreement on the global phase down of HFCs. A successful agreement has the potential to mitigate 100 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2050.

Maggie Dewane, EIA Press Officer, [email protected], +1202 483 6621
Avipsa Mahapatra, EIA Global Climate Campaign Director, [email protected], +1347-9310129