Jun 9, 2021 - Business

Tyson Foods to aim for net-zero emissions by 2050

Illustration of a chicken poking his head through the zero in "C02."

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Tyson Foods announced this morning that it will strive to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its global operations and supply chain by 2050.

Why it matters: Tyson is the largest meat producer in the United States. And agriculture, including livestock and manure emissions, is the largest source of methane emissions in the U.S.

Context: The announcement marks a step forward from Tyson's previous commitment, made in 2018, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030.

What's happening: In a press release, Tyson outlined specific goals to meet along the way.

  • Update the baseline for emissions to align with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5℃, consistent with the Paris Agreement, by the end of 2023.
  • Establish a pathway to using 50% renewable energy across its domestic operations by 2030.
  • Target 2 million feed acres for land conservation, and expand total acres by 2025.
  • Increase the company's grazing lands target for sustainable beef production practices by 2025. The current target is 5 million acres.
  • Eliminate deforestation risk throughout its global supply chain by 2030.
  • Support climate action policies through advocacy groups such as the Net Zero Business Alliance.

What they're saying: John Randal Tyson, chief sustainability officer, tells Axios the biggest challenge is making sure the millions of people Tyson works with are working toward the same goal.

  • Between 80 and 90% of Tyson's greenhouse gas emissions come from "indirect upstream and downstream emissions that occur in the value chain," he says, such as on farms.

Go deeper: Read Tyson's annual sustainability report here.


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