Green Alliances: McDonalds and Environmental Defense Essay

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Green Alliances: McDonalds and Environmental Defense

On August 1, 1990, Shelby Yastrow, McDonald’s Senior Vice President of Environmental Affairs, and Fred Krupp, Environmental Defense’s Executive Director, announced that the company and the organization would form a partnership with the goal of improving waste management at McDonald’s. The announcement came as a surprise to many outside of McDonald’s and Environmental Defense; the alliance of the world’s largest fast-food company with one of the country’s oldest and best-known environmental organizations seemed improbable. McDonald’s seemed a more likely target for Environmental Defense’s litigation than a potential partner. Reaction to the announcement was mixed. Many, such as
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It describes its work as “linking science, economics, and law to create innovative, equitable, and cost-effective solutions to the most urgent environmental problems.”[4] Environmental Defense was founded in 1967 (as the Environmental Defense Fund) by conservationists on Long Island to ban the use of the pesticide DDT. The founders went to court to stop the spraying of DDT on the marshes of Long Island. They won the case, the first time that scientists had used the courts to address an environmental wrong. The success of the founders led Environmental Defense to initiate a series of legal actions across the country, which eventually led to a nationwide ban of the pesticide in 1972. From the beginning this put Environmental Defense in a position of fighting directly against environmental offenders. For many years, Environmental Defense did not move far from its original strategy. During the 1980s and ‘90s, however, the idea of sustainable development gained popularity, legitimized in part by the 1987 report of the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development.[5] This redefining of the environmental problem left room for both environmental protection and development, and the once clear line between environmental and business interests began to soften. Environmental Defense saw a new opportunity arising out of this change. It began to work more closely with outside groups and organizations, such as the

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