Forest Stewardship

Minimizing Deforestation Risk


Yum! Brands is committed to preventing deforestation through our sustainable, paper-based packaging and palm oil sourcing strategies and policies.

Yum! sources a large volume of paper-based packaging, and we are committed to using environmentally preferable packaging that reduces our impact on the environment and the communities where we operate. We engage with stakeholders, including suppliers, manufacturers, converters, distributors and retailers to support our enterprisewide goal to purchase 100 percent of paper-based packaging with fiber from responsibly managed forests and recycled sources by the end of 2020.

We are making progress. In 2017, markets reported that an estimated 69 percent of our global paper-based packaging and service products came from either certified virgin or recycled sources. Our Paper-based Packaging Sourcing Policy establishes sustainable sourcing principles to guide our packaging procurement decisions and is based on four principles:

  • We do not purchase products made with fiber from illegal or unwanted sources.
  • We give preference to third-party-certified suppliers.
  • We increase the amount of recycled content used in the paper-based packaging.
  • We work to ensure compliance with our policies.

More Sustainable Packaging at Taco Bell

Taco Bell replaced its plastic bags with paper bags made from 100 percent recyclable and renewable raw materials, 100 percent sourced in the U.S. Other sustainable packaging measures include a switch to polypropylene (plastic) side item containers from polystyrene foam and packaging the Mini Skillet Bowl in a reusable and dishwasher-safe container.


Yum!’s second important commodity that can impact deforestation is palm oil. Our policy for sustainably sourcing our palm oil used for cooking is guided by six principles:

  • No development on High Conservation Value or High Carbon Stock forests
  • No development on peatlands and use of best management practices where production already exists on peatlands
  • Compliance with local laws and regulations
  • Prevention and resolution of social and/or land conflicts in accordance with the principle of free, prior and informed consent
  • Traceability to the extraction mill and validation of fresh fruit bunches
  • Respect and protection of human rights, including not employing underage children or forced laborers and prohibiting physical punishment or abuse

Since 2015, Yum! has sought to reduce palm oil used for cooking oil. Certain brands and markets have already achieved this milestone: For example, KFC restaurants in the U.K. fully eliminated palm oil from their food production in 2015. As result of global partnerships among brands, franchisees and suppliers, approximately 80 percent of the palm oil volume purchased in 2017 was reported to be from sustainable sources — an improvement from the estimated 63 percent achieved in 2016. Many of our markets contributed to this progress, including China which moved to sustainable palm oil during the year. By the end of 2018, we will source 100 percent of our palm oil from responsible and sustainable sources.

Markets that continue to use palm oil purchase only from suppliers who meet our sourcing principles and give preference to those who are certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). RSPO works along the full palm oil supply chain to develop and implement global standards that minimize the negative impact of palm oil production on the environment and the communities from which it’s sourced.

Yum! sustainable sourcing policies and principles are intended to mitigate our impact on climate change by reducing deforestation related to the timber and palm oil that we source. To track our progress, we survey business units worldwide regarding their accomplishments against our sustainable fiber and palm oil sourcing goals. The results of the survey are used to report on our commitments to sustainable sourcing in our CDP responses on Climate Change and Forests.

Since 2016, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell have also used certified sustainable palm oil as an ingredient in U.S. menu items such as in the Hershey’s® Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie and the caramel apple empanada, respectively.