US – Tyson Foods, the world’s second-largest processor, has set a goal of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions across its global operations and supply chain by 2050. 

The US meat processor now joins a growing list of food companies such as Nestlé, Heineken, and Diageo that have ambitious net zero-emission targets. 

Tyson however, is the first U.S.-based protein company to have an emissions reduction target approved by the Science Based Target initiative. 

The transition to net zero – which includes scopes 1, 2 and 3 – marks an expansion of the meat company’s current target of reducing 30% greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. 

To meet its goal, Tyson Foods says it will focus on investments, renewable energy, land stewardship, deforestation, manure management, farm energy, feed, fertiliser, enteric methane and external partnerships.  

“At Tyson Foods, we believe progress requires accountability and transparency and we are proud to exemplify that as we work to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” said John Tyson, chief sustainability officer at Tyson Foods. 

As part of the net zero goal, the company plans to establish a pathway for its domestic operations to use 50% renewable energy by 2030.  

Other steps include working to eliminate deforestation risk by 2030 and expanding its current 5-million-acre grazing lands target for sustainable beef production practices by 2025. 

“We believe what good food can do for people and the planet is powerful. Our net zero ambition is another important step in our work toward realizing our aspiration to become the most transparent and sustainable food company in the world,” added Donnie King, president and CEO of Tyson Foods, 

The ambition comes at the same time as the release of the company’s FY2020 Sustainability Progress Report, where it fell short in a few categories.  

According to the report, Tyson reduced its water intensity by 7.7%, slightly short compared to its 12% target; and missed its ambition of increasing sustainable land stewardship practices on 2 million acres of row crop-corn by only enrolling 408,000 acres. 

The failure to achieve its sustaianility target in 2030 however show the challenges ahead for a company with 239 facilities and 139,000 employees worldwide. 

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