A&W Canada: Serving Great Taste with Minimal Waste
In November 2020, A&W Food Services of Canada Inc. (A&W Canada) had a difficult decision to make. As a fast-food chain with a track record on advancing sustainability issues, the company could not ignore the mounting public concern about plastic and packaging waste or the continuously evolving regulatory environment regarding waste in Canada. The company had already taken steps in this direction by introducing paper straws and compostable burger bags, for example. However, it was the large number of beverage cups that stood out as generating the largest amount of disposable waste. Regulations on extended producer responsibility were being introduced across Canada, although the details in each province varied. New materials were constantly being developed, which provided various potential alternatives. A&W Canada had to make a decision but was unsure what criteria to apply. How would this decision affect key stakeholders? How could the company make a more informed decision? Jury Gualandris is affiliated with Ivey Business School.