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Max Hamburgers from Sweden revolutionize fast food industry and tour US

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The Natural Step, an internally recognized non-profit organization specializing in sustainability is proud to publish our case study on Max, Sweden's oldest and most popular hamburger chain. Max President and owner Richard Bergfors and the Director of Sustainability Pär Larshans are now on a North American tour to view over 70 fast food restaurants.

In 2007, Max Hamburger Restaurants partnered with The Natural Step to delve deeper into their sustainability challenges. Max's core business is hamburgers. The meat industry is one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gases worldwide, responsible for approximately 18 % of global emissions. In 2006 the owners of Max, the Bergfors family, began to understand that they were part of the climate problem. In response, they decided to become part of the solution. As a result, in 2008 Max became the first restaurant chain in the world to analyze their food's climate impact all the way from the farmers land to the guest's hand. They also carbon labeled their menus so that customers could choose climate smart alternatives. Not satisfied with merely implementing energy efficiency programs in all its buildings and fully transferring over to wind powered energy, Max has made voluntary carbon offsets throughout its supply chain, from farmer to customer, supporting reforestation projects in Uganda and Mozambique. Max supports offsetting projects that strengthen local agro-forestry, entrepreneurship and ecosystem services. This work is internationally recognized and globally progressive. At the same time, Max is more profitable than ever. A Swedish independent survey reported an increase in customer loyalty by 27 % for Max between 2007 and 2009 mostly due to their sustainability efforts. This was the highest increase of 20 of the most well-known Swedish brands.

In order to share their story and celebrate their success, The Natural Step has written a comprehensive case study of their work and process available online. Furthermore, Max's Director of Sustainability, Pär Larshans and their Sustainability Steering Group are touring the US on a speaking tour from October 17-29th at the following locations:

  • October 17-19: Los Angeles, California
  • October 19: San Bernardino, California :: University of Redlands, Orton Center
  • October 21-22: Dallas, Texas
  • October 26-29: San Francisco and Sonoma, California

Mr. Larshans will be one of the MINI-EXPO speakers at The Human Element International Update 2010.

To interview Mr. Larshans, please contact him directly with the information listed below.

About Max
Max, founded in 1968, is Sweden's first hamburger chain. The family-owned chain is a market-leader and a pioneer in low-fat products. The company's success is also due to its ability to offer freedom of choice and food cooked to order. Both the beef and chicken used are produced locally. The company was also the first restaurant chain in the world to provide carbon labeling for its meals and fully offset the environmental impact of its operation by planting trees in Africa. The goal is to make the whole operation fossil fuel-free. In 2009, sales in Max's 71 restaurants totaled SEK 1,122 million. In 2010, sales are expected to reach SEK 1,400 million, with 9 new restaurants opening.

About The Natural Step
The Natural Step International is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to sustainable development with a focus on education, advisory work and research. It has helped thousands of corporations, municipalities, academic institutions and not-for-profit organizations realize new opportunities, reduced costs, and dramatically reduced ecological and social impacts. The Natural Step has worked with Nike, Interface, Electrolux and other global brands. The Natural Step, with its origins in Sweden, has teams in all regions of the world and is also part of an international partnership, the Real Change Research Programme, focused upon sustainability solutions. More information about The Natural Step can be found at www.thenaturalstep.org.

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