THE world’s largest animal protein producer, JBS, has committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions across its worldwide operations by 2040.
JBS’s move in this direction is a first across the global meat and poultry sector.
‘Net zero’ refers to achieving an overall balance between emissions produced and emissions taken out of the atmosphere. It is the scientifically-established threshold necessary to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees C, or well below 2 degrees C.
The commitment spans the company’s red and white meat supply chain operations in North and South America and Australasia, as well as its diverse value-chain of agricultural producer partners, suppliers and customers.
The company plans to develop GHG emission reduction targets across its operations and value chains in Australia, New Zealand, South America, North America, Europe, and the UK.
Key drivers behind the program will include investment of more than $1 billion in incremental capital expenditure over the next decade towards emission reduction projects in JBS facilities, and a move to convert to 100pc renewable electricity in JBS’s global facilities by 2040.
In delivering the company’s 2020 financial year results today, JBS’s global chief executive Gilberto Tomazoni said JBS had an opportunity to leverage its scale and influence to help lead a sustainable transformation of agricultural markets that empowers producers, suppliers, customers and consumers.
“Agriculture can, and must, be part of the global climate solution,” he said.
“The ambition reflects the company’s goal to meet the health and nutritional needs of the growing global population in a sustainable manner that preserves the planet’s resources for future generations.”
As part of its commitment, the company has signed-on to the United Nations Global Compact’s Business Ambition for 1.5°C initiative, which aligns with the most ambitious aim of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming.
JBS Australia’s chief executive Brent Eastwood said with the environmental challenges being faced, it was important that JBS continues to make significant investments to fight against global warming and climate change.
“As the Australian and New Zealand arm of one of the world’s largest food businesses, we strive every day to innovate and demonstrate leadership in the impact that our operations, products and supply chains have on the planet,” Mr Eastwood said.
“Our Australian and NZ operations have a significant role to play in achieving this target and we will continue to work with our local and global teams to develop a roadmap of key opportunities and initiatives,” he said.
“Through the innovation, investment and collaboration to achieve our net-zero target, we can continue to lower our carbon footprint and maintain the company’s efficiency leadership position in the industry both in Australia and NZ.”
The road ahead will not be easy, but it is the right thing to do for our company, our team members, our suppliers, our customers and the planet
To accomplish its net-zero goal, JBS will adopt several strategies to achieve reductions in emissions. These will include:
- Reducing direct emissions in its facilities: JBS plans to reduce its global scope 1 and 2 emission intensity by at least 30pc by 2030 against base year 2019.
- Investing in the future: The company has committed to investing more than $1 billion in incremental capital expenditures over the next decade in emission reduction projects. It will engage with its team members and award funding for projects to its facilities using a panel consisting of company executives, specialists and academics.
- Eliminating deforestation in South America: JBS will eliminate illegal Amazon deforestation from its supply chain – including the suppliers of its suppliers – by 2025, and in other Brazilian biomes by 2030. The company says it will achieve zero deforestation across its global supply chain by 2035.
- The company will move to using 100pc renewable electricity in its facilities, joining the RE100 group and converting to 100pc renewable electricity across its operations around the world by 2040.
- Fostering innovation: JBS will invest $100 million globally by 2030 in research and development projects to assist producer efforts to strengthen and scale regenerative farming practices, including carbon sequestration and on-farm emission mitigation technologies. This investment will contribute to reducing scope 3 emissions across the value chain, in its efforts toward net zero emissions.
- Ensuring accountability: Across the company, performance against environmental goals, including GHG emission reduction targets, will be part of senior executive compensation considerations.
The company said the announcement was a continuation of its long-standing commitment to sustainability and ongoing efforts to reduce emissions.
It plans to provide annual updates on progress to ensure transparency, and disclose financial risks linked to climate change, in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) initiative.
As a part of this process, JBS will engage with suppliers and customers to jointly identify opportunities to reduce emissions and collaborate for the future.
“The road ahead will not be easy, but it is the right thing to do for our company, our team members, our suppliers, our customers and the planet,” Mr Tomazoni said.
Tomorrow: JBS’s 2020 full year financial results summary