- Tyson Foods announced it was teaming with the World Resources Institute to develop science-based greenhouse gas and outcome-based water conservation targets for its operations and the company’s supply chain, according to a company release.
The meat giant currently measures and reports greenhouse gas emissions from sources it controls as well as indirect emissions from the energy it buys. Eventually, environmental goals developed with WRI will involve collaborating with Tyson's entire supply chain, including material and ingredient suppliers and the farmers who raise chicken, turkey, cattle and pigs for the company.
“Tyson is focused on delivering sustainable food at scale,” Tyson Chief Sustainnability Officer Justin Whitmore said. “Only by a comprehensive, holistic approach to sustainability can we make long-lasting positive change, for our company, our consumers and customers, our team members and our planet."
Tyson’s collaboration with WRI follows recent company announcements about its commitment to creating a healthier workplace and its decision to no longer use antibiotics in its retail line of chicken, making it the it the world's leading supplier of antibiotic-free poultry.
In the past year the company has reduced antibiotics usage in its broiler chicken supply chain, made improvements in workplace safety that eclipsed its original goals, and has had 280 products meet specific school nutrition regulations for fat, sodium and calorie content.
This commitment to lower greenhouse gas emissions is yet another example of Tyson leading innovation in the meat space. Today's consumer is no longer concerned solely with a company's final product, but wants the brands they buy from to have transparent, sustainable supply chains. Antibiotic use in chicken is certainly one of the top concerns for consumers, but Tyson's goal to reduce its carbon footprint and establish better oversight of all stages of production are other ways the meat giant can differentiate itself from competitors.
It will be interesting to see how the company leverages this corporate commitment to environmental sustainability. Many meat companies make claims about the health of their livestock on product packaging, but reduction of carbon emissions isn't always appetizing. Still, sustainability is important to consumers, and could lure those who are on the fence.
Other meat producers would be wise to enact similar initiatives of their own, or risk Tyson swallowing an even larger piece of market share than it currently holds.