Cargill outlines new environmental targets

By Aidan Fortune

- Last updated on GMT

Cargill outlines new environmental targets

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International meat processor Cargill has expanded its climate change targets.

It has pledged to reduce its supply chain emissions by 30% by 2030. To help reduce its climate impact, Cargill is examining targeted supply chain interventions, programming and policy solutions benefiting farmers, customers and the broader food system.

This commitment, in combination with the previously announced operational goal to reduce absolute emissions by 10%, has been approved by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi), a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

“Without bold and decisive actions by all involved in the production of food, climate change will destabilize the food system,”​ said David MacLennan, Cargill’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We are determined to innovate, scale and implement solutions together with producers, our customers and governments worldwide. Agriculture is how we will mitigate climate change, regenerate our soils and improve water use, while nourishing the world in a more sustainable way.”

The business also highlighted other environmental programmes in operation including: Accelerating Sustainable Progress in Beef; Advancing Soil Health; Reducing carbon for Sustainable Shipping and Protecting forests in partnership with farmers.

Not everyone welcomed Cargill’s announcement however. Environmental campaigners Mighty Earth labelled the commitments as “uninspiring”​. In a statement, CEO Glenn Hurowitz said: “Cargill has once again demonstrated its penchant for generating nice headlines with positive sounding but substance-less commitments.

“Cargill is finally recognizing that a trader’s impact is in what they trade – and Cargill is trading in unsustainable and environmentally destructive goods. But announcing ill-defined and unenforceable less-than-half measures is meaningless.

“Cargill's track record does not inspire confidence that today's announcement will lead to tangible results. As with its commitment earlier this year to spend $30 million on a to-be-determined strategy to fight deforestation, the company's spokespeople have admitted that they do not know how to implement this commitment.”