Maple Leaf has become the first major food company in the world to become carbon neutral.
The North American producer of meat and plant-based proteins has managed to achieve this by meeting the standards set by Science Based Targets, which align with the intention to reduce emissions of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
“There is simply no more time to waste. The devastating impact of climate change on our planet must be confronted head-on by business leaders with decisive and immediate action,” Michael McCain, president and CEO of Maple Leaf Foods, said in a news release.
“The global food system must change dramatically if we are to sustainably feed the world’s growing population. We recognize that producing nutrient-dense foods takes vital planetary resources, and we are staking our future on being carbon neutral today, and every day going forward,” he continued.
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Currently, the goal for Maple Leaf is for the company to reduce its carbon footprint by 50 per cent by 2025.
Since 2015, the company has reduced its electricity usage by 86 million kilowatt hours—which is the amount of electricity it would require to drive more than 12,000 cars for a year, it’s reduced its natural gas usage by 4.3 million m3—the amount used to power approximately 1,000 homes for a year, and it’s reduced their water usage by more than 1.2 billion liters.
“Today’s actions are not just about being socially responsible; they are about survival,” McCain said.
“Consumers rightfully expect business and political leaders to solve these problems and address the profound consequences of our climate crisis. Our announcement demonstrates that carbon neutrality and Science Based Targets for emissions reduction are both achievable – and urgent. We hope our actions inspire food companies and businesses broadly to join us in the critical fight against climate change,” he added.