Ag and food companies take climate change pledge

Ag and food companies take climate change pledge

Various food and agriculture companies sign White House climate change pledge

A grouping of broad-spectrum U.S. companies, including several food and agriculture interests, have signed the White House's American Business Act on Climate pledge, a document that supports emission and water use reduction, renewable energy and deforestation goals while advocating for similar outcome globally.

Related: USDA lays out broad climate change mitigation plan

The pledge was first announced in July, and the companies joining up in the latest pledge round bring the total number of participating entities to 81.

Various food and agriculture companies sign White House climate change pledge

With the additions, the White House says companies involved now represent all 50 states and about $3 trillion in annual revenue, employ more than 9 million people and have a combined market capitalization of over $5 trillion.

The pledge supports a strong outcome in Paris climate negotiations, asks companies to demonstrate commitment to climate action by reducing emissions and implementing other energy-saving efforts, and requests that companies set a strong example for their peers.

Related: Say it ain't so. Organic farming worse for climate change?

The pledge builds on Presidential goals set last November for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 26% to 28% economy-wide. Global progress also is being made, the White House says; 150 countries have reported post-2020 climate plans to the United Nations, including China, the European Union and India.

In December, global climate talks will continue in Paris, as the U.S. looks for adoption of a framework for increasing ambition to drive down emissions.

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Back in the U.S., food and agriculture companies have been part of the climate pledge, detailing their plans to use resources more efficiently to achieve climate goals. Companies, along with a brief selection of their goals, include:

Abengoa: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 10% by 2025 and continue operation of the Kansas commercial scale cellulosic ethanol facility, producing up to 25 million gallons of biofuel per year

Cargill: Improve greenhouse gas intensity by 5%, improve freshwater efficiency by 5%, improve energy efficiency by 5%, and increase renewable energy to 18% of total energy use, up from 14%

General Mills: Achieve sustainable emission levels in line with scientific consensus by 2050, and sustainably source 100% of the company's 10 ingredients by 2020 – vanilla, cocoa, palm oil, fiber packaging, sugar cane, wheat, oats, dairy and dry milled corn.

Monsanto: Drive cover crop research trials on over 100 locations across the Midwest; safely and sustainably innovate through advanced breeding and biotechnology to advance new plant varieties and hybrids; and increase irrigation water efficiency.

POET: Produce over 1.7 billion gallons of low carbon ethanol annually; Produce 820 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol by 2025 across the POET footprint.

See a full list of companies and see their complete goal plans on the White House website.

TAGS: USDA
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