This may sound confusing, but McDonald's Corp (NYSE: MCD) agreed to donate a "significant portion" of its leftover coffee beans to Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) to be included in its manufacturing process.
What To Know About Leftover Coffee Beans
McDonald's has no need for the remnants of its coffee beans, called chaffs, and Ford figured out a way to transform it into car parts. Ford Senior Technical Leader of Sustainable Materials explained that the leftover chaff when mixed with plastic and other additives creates pellets that can be molded into vehicle parts.
This is far from "recycling," rather it's "rethinking the way we do business," she said. In fact, leftover coffee beans is a superior material compared to what Ford currently uses.
"Your McDonald's coffee chaff helps Ford build a better car," she told McDonald's Senior Director of Sustainability Ian Olson.
Ford is already using the coffee chaff to manufacture headlight housings for its Lincoln Continental, Crain's Detroit Business reported. Ford plans on duplicating the process in many other vehicles, including the iconic Ford Mustang.
Ford's history of introducing sustainable materials dates back to the era of Henry Ford, who used soybean-based plastics. Crain's said more recent sources of innovation come from agave plants, tomato skins, and shredded money.
Just A 'Cool Thing To Say'?
Transforming leftover coffee beans with ironically the help of oil-heavy plastic is a "nice little ESG project" and far from a planet saving initiative, according to Yahoo Finance's Julia La Roche.
Her co-host Dan Roberts recalled a similar story in which he visited ex-Under Armour Inc (NYSE: UAA) CEO Kevin Plank's personal horse farm where the race horses are trained on and run on a track made from leftover Under Armour fabrics. Roberts asked the farm manager if this is a sustainable initiative or to improve the performance of the race horses. It's neither and he was told it is just a "cool thing to be able to say."
"So this kind of reminds me of that," Roberts said.
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