• Jeanna Brown

Big mooves by big agribusiness – no bull anymore

A few weeks ago, Cargill, a large US-based agricultural company known for its beef products, announced a GHG reduction target for its North American supply chain, aiming for a 30% reduction in the emissions intensity of its products by 2030 compared to a 2017 baseline – see more here. Cargill is a privately-held company that has been working with the Canadian Roundtable on Sustainable Beef (CRSB). The targets set by Cargill are in alignment with the CRSB, and seem to go even further.

This represents an interesting case in corporate sustainability, as this initiative seems to have been driven in large part by headwinds from the success of alternative and plant-based protein options, such as Beyond Meat, and increasing consumer concern and outcry over the environmental impacts of large-scale agriculture. It’s fascinating to see legislation and regulation play a minimal role in these developments.

Importantly, GHGs aren’t even the full story of Cargill’s announcement – it also mentions forays into more efficient cattle grazing, improved feed production, a reduction in food waste, and innovation to develop value-added products from manure. Competition in business drives change and innovation, and this is certainly no exception. We encourage all forms and sizes of business to drive positive change from an environmental perspective – planetary health is our collective responsibility!

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