According to Monsanto’s 2016 Sustainability Report, Growing Better Together, the company is right on track to achieving a carbon neutral operational footprint by 2021 and in promoting climate-smart agriculture practices.
“We understand the crucial role agriculture has in feeding the world while utilizing the least amount of resources possible. We are committed to helping farmers grow more food using fewer resources and together, we have made meaningful progress against our goal of advancing modern agriculture,” said Pam Strifler, Vice President, Global Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement at Monsanto in a recent release. “Sustainability is firmly embedded in our business and aligned across three broad areas – people, planet, and company. As we look back on fiscal year 2016, we take great pride that we’re on track to meet key environmental and social milestones.”
In 2016, Monsanto attained 89 percent of its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from crop protection operations by 22 percent (per pound of active ingredient) by 2020. The company also established the Carbon-Neutral Collaborative to help develop a scalable and verifiable carbon accounting framework for the agriculture industry, and commissioned and publicly shared a third-party study showing that widespread adoption of recommended climate smart agricultural practices could potentially absorb more carbon than 2.5 billion tree seedlings grown for 10 years, in the U.S. alone.
The 2016 report also outlines how the company’s work contributes to achieving the United Nations’ SDGs, a universal call to action to address the world’s most pressing economic, social, and environmental challenges.
In 2016, Monsanto also published its company position on biodiversity, which formalizes its long-standing advocacy for biodiversity and is aligned with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, stating, in part, that the company works to “conserve and promote the sustainable use of biodiversity within species, between species, and of ecosystems as it relates to our research, products, and practices.” As part of this advocacy, Monsanto surpassed its 2016 goal of establishing monarch habitats at 70 of its US production and research facilities.
Other highlights from the 2016 report include the following:
People: Reached approximately 7 million people with Off-the-Job Safety content through in-person events and social media efforts. Maintained an excellent occupational safety record, including an injury severity rate of .53, which represents a 48 percent improvement since 2011. Helped 250,000 rural community members in India adopt healthy and hygienic lifestyles as part of Monsanto’s WBCSD Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) pledge.
Planet: Attained 47 percent of goal to increase irrigation water application efficiency across its global seed production operation by 25 percent by 2020.
Continued working with Conservation International to protect and restore forests with nearly 42,000 acres of forests already impacted in Brazil and Indonesia since 2008.
Company: Conducted second annual Supplier Sustainability Assessment to weigh the economic, environmental, and social profiles and behaviors of strategic suppliers. Implemented formal community engagement plans at 100 percent of manufacturing sites around the globe.