Bob Langert consults, writes and speaks about corporate sustainability, showing how companies can successfully navigate and manage today’s controversial societal issues, become better corporate citizens and make their businesses stronger, more relevant and more profitable.

Why you should listen

As VP of sustainability at McDonald's, Bob Langert shaped the restaurant chain's commitment to the environment, supply chain sustainability and balanced menu choices. After retiring from McDonald's in 2015, Langert joined the GreenBiz Group, writing a regular column ("The Inside View"). He has advised several organizations on sustainability strategies, including the National Pork Council, Big Dutchman, Cadbury, Shell and Corteva. He is a popular speaker who has addressed audiences that include the Sustainable Agricultural Alliance, the United Egg Producers and the American Feed Industry Association.

In January 2019, Langert published The Battle to Do Good; Inside McDonald's Sustainability Journey. Based on his 25 years leading McDonald's sustainability and corporate responsibility efforts, Langert shares how he helped address some of the most significant societal issues of our times -- obesity, waste and packaging, deforestation in the Amazon, animal well-being and much more. The Economist wrote: "The Battle to Do Good: Inside McDonald's Sustainability Journey is a must-read even for those who are cynical about the business of corporate social responsibility."

From the late 80s, McDonald's landed smack in the middle of one contentious issue after another, often locking horns with powerful NGOs such as Greenpeace, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Corporate Accountability. This sudden shift from being the beloved Golden Arches since opening its doors in 1955, to the demon of many societal ills, caught McDonald's off guard. Langert chronicles the highs and lows that McDonald's experienced in turbulent times and how its sustainability journey evolved from playing defense to strategically solving issues with unlikely partners, including a whirling dervish, autistic animal scientist and avid environmentalists from the World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International. 

Bob Langert’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Bob Langert

Live from TEDSummit 2019

Business Unusual: Notes from Session 4 of TEDSummit 2019

July 24, 2019

To keep pace with our ever-changing world, we need out-of-the-box ideas that are bigger and more imaginative than ever. The speakers and performers from this session explore these possibilities, challenging us to think harder about the notions we’ve come to accept. The event: TEDSummit 2019, Session 4: Business Unusual, hosted by Whitney Pennington Rodgers and […]

Continue reading

A first glimpse at the TEDSummit 2019 speaker lineup

May 21, 2019

With TEDSummit 2019 just two months away, it’s time to unveil the first group of speakers that will take to the stage in Edinburgh, Scotland, from July 21-25. Three years ago, more than 1,000 members of the TED global community convened in Banff, Canada, for the first-ever TEDSummit. We talked about the fracturing state of […]

Continue reading