ADM announces sweeping sustainability goals

14 Apr 2020

In an effort to further advance the sustainability of its operations, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has committed to reducing its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 25% and its energy intensity by 15% by 2035.

Over the 15-year timeframe, the ingredients company will aim to reduce emissions 1.67% annually. This figure is more aggressive than the approach outlined in the Paris Climate Change Agreement from 2016 which would require a 1.23% annual reduction in emissions to achieve the 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) temperature cap required to keep global warming from decimating the planet. ADM hopes to meet these reduction goals by emphasizing the purchase of renewable electricity, increasing the use of biomass fuels, making changes in its transportation fleet and altering equipment in certain locations.

ADM announces sweeping sustainability goals

This new plan follows the early fulfillment of the goals set out in the“15x20” plan from 2011. When operating under this 2011 initiative, ADM sought per-unit improvements in energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, water and waste to landfill by 2020.

“The greenhouse gas emissions we’ll save will be the equivalent of those from charging every single smart phone on the planet 250 times,” said company Chairman and CEO Juan Luciano in a statement.

In addition to the aggressive new sustainability goals outlined by the ingredients company, ADM is also looking to tackle the sustainability quandary from several additional angles. Last year, the company began incorporating satellite imagery to map its supply chains for more efficiency and this year, ADM’s board formed a committee on Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility.

Beyond switching to less carbon-centric fuels and eliminating energy efficiencies, ADM maintains a focus on eradicating deforestation from its supply chain and supporting agricultural initiatives that are aimed at mitigating climate change. As a result of its efforts promoting sustainable agricultural practices among farmers in Brazil and Paraguay, ADM was shortlisted as a Sustainability Champion by the Food Ingredients Innovation awards.

“(Consumers) are making it clear that they expect their food and drink to come from sustainable ingredients, produced by companies that share their values,” said Luciano. A study from Nielsen shows that a company’s commitment to the environment has the power to sway product purchases for 45% of consumers surveyed and the percentage of consumers willing to pay more for sustainable products is increasing.

These additional commitments expand ADM’s wide-ranging efforts to produce ingredients sustainably. Earlier this year, the company announced that it will expand its production of non-GMO soy protein concentrate at its factory in Europoort, the Netherlands to address the growing demand for non-GMO plant-based proteins.

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