“We know we can’t do this alone.”

Tyson Foods has unveiled its ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero across its global operations and supply chain by 2050, including scopes 1, 2 and 3. They produce. Animal protein.

Food production accounts for a quarter of GHG emissions, of which livestock accounts for 14% of the world’s CO2 emissions. As consumers increasingly consider the environmental footprint of the foods we eat, the animal protein sector is stepping up efforts to address its impact.

This is not a new issue for Tyson Foods. The company is the first US-based protein company in the food and beverage sector to set emission reduction targets approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). In 2018, we set an SBTi-validated goal of reducing GHG emissions by 30% by 2030. The company states that this goal is in line with global efforts to limit the average temperature rise to 2 ° C.

The new goals for 2050 are built on this effort, Sustainability Manager Kelsey Gibbs told FoodNavigator. By the end of 2023, the company plans to update its emission baseline in line with the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 ° C.

Tyson Foods Aims for Net Zero by 2050 / Photo: Tyson

“Our Net Zero Emissions Target is an extension of the 2018 Science Based Target Initiative’s goal of reducing GHG emissions by 30% by 2030, reaching the 2050 Net Zero Emissions target. Will continue to serve as a milestone for. “Gibbs explained.

“Realization of net zero is a big business”

Tyson’s global operations include 239 facilities and 139,000 employees worldwide. “Achieving net zero emissions is a big business.”The company mentioned in the announcement.

So how do you plan to reduce that footprint?

The Group focuses on direct global operations, energy emissions, and emissions related to the supply chain. Tyson outlines priorities and says the road to Net Zero will focus on investment, renewable energy, land management, deforestation, fertilizer management, agricultural energy, feed, fertilizer, intestinal methane and external partnerships. Stated.

Tyson plans to invest in resource-efficient and less impactful models within its business. For example, Tyson aims for renewable energy to account for 50% of domestic energy consumption by 2030.

However, the biggest challenge for Tyson is the scope 3 emissions that occur in the supply chain.

“We know that most of our emissions come from our farms, so it’s important to work with farmers and suppliers to reduce their emissions.”Gibbs told us.

Tyson will meet its initial land management goal of securing 2 million acres of pasture to help improve environmental practices. This is the “largest ever” sustainable grain initiative by a US-based protein company, reaching the overall goal of 100% of feed purchased by 2030.

The group is also working to validate sustainable cattle practices on more than 5 million acres of cattle pastures by 2025. This goal will be expanded, Tyson said.

GettyImages-johnrandallalves Cowboy on a cow ranch

Tyson works with suppliers to reduce farm emissions / Photo: GettyImages-johnrandallalves

“Two important areas of the path to achieving Net Zero are land management and rangeland goals, including the goal of 100% total feed purchases by 2025 and 2030. , Achieves and expands its current land management goal of securing 2 million acres of feed area, including production practices up to that point. “Gibbs details.

But while these are key elements of Tyson’s path to Net Zero, Gibbs quickly emphasized that the company maintains an “agnostic” view of the implementation of its practices.

“Opportunities to improve production practices are based on site and operational conditions.”Sustainability experts explained.

“In a very complex and interconnected supply chain, this cannot be done alone. We do business with over 10,000 independent farmers and ranchers nationwide, who are food and He is most familiar with how to grow textiles and praises their continued improvement over the last few decades. “

Collaboration is a fundamental impetus. Tyson not only works with its suppliers, but also with many NGOs in its efforts to build a more sustainable animal protein sector. Tyson will continue to be involved in the World Wildlife Fund (FLAG) Advisory Group and will continue to partner and cooperate with organizations such as the World Resources Institute, Nature Maintenance Fund, Environmental Defense Fund and World Wildlife Fund, the company said. It was.

“We work with both science-based and supply partners to ensure that we do our best for the planet.”

GettyImages-Phototreat Cow Brazil

Tyson Eliminates Deforestation Risk by 2030 / Photo: Getty Images-Phototreat

Land use changes and deforestation

Along with agriculture, deforestation and changes in land use are also major causes of global warming. Forests store large amounts of carbon, and the plants in them absorb carbon dioxide as they grow. A 2015-2017 average survey by the World Resources Institute concludes that global losses in tropical forests contribute to approximately 4.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Gibbs emphasized that Tyson has already begun efforts to address the risk of deforestation in the supply chain.

“In October 2019, we worked with PROFOREST to conduct a deforestation risk assessment across the global agricultural supply chain, focusing on four products: beef and beef and palm oil. And pulp, paper and packaging. The assessment concluded that 94% of our land footprint had zero or low risk associated with deforestation. Of the remaining 6%, about 3% were from the middle. I am at high risk. “

The company today announced that it will completely eliminate deforestation in its supply chain by 2030.

“To proactively address the 6% at risk, we have created and published forest protection standards that minimize the risk of deforestation and we procure. It outlines the steps taken to protect the forests in the area. “Gibbs explained.

Growed and rooted plant-based brand Tyson

Raised & Rooted: Tyson’s Plant-Based Brand / Photo: Tyson Foods

Portfolio shift to plant base?

High GHG emissions from animal production mean that plant-based diets are often cited as a more sustainable Some quotesThe climate impact of plant-based foods is typically one-tenth to one-fiftieth that of animal foods.

Through the development of high-quality meat-like products, the high level of consumer interest and innovation that is spreading the appeal of plant-derived products to more consumers is supporting growth. According to Research and Markets, the plant-based food market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.9% by 2027, reaching US $ 74.2 billion in sales.

Meat accounted for the majority of Tyson’s annual revenue last year ($ 43.2 billion last year), yet the company is still looking at the high-growth plant protein category. This year, the group launched two plant-derived brands, Raised & Rooted and First Pride.

Does this indicate that a portfolio shift to more plant-based products could be part of Tyson’s Net Zero strategy?

Gibbs downplayed the outlook.

“At Tyson, we strongly believe in the power of choice for consumers. For us, it’s not” or “but providing people with more choices, everything to sustainably feed the world. We continue to focus on holistic solutions across proteins. We have a healthy and solid alternative protein business. We have just announced a new plant-based product through the Raised & Rooted line.

Global meat sales are small compared to plant-based alternatives sales ($ 1.2234 trillion compared to about $ 1.4 billion), as the entire food sector moves into a carbon-neutral future. Clearly, a low-impact animal farming solution is essential. “We know we can’t do this alone.”

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