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Minnetonka-based Cargill vows to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

The company says it will reduce its emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

Minnetonka-based beef producer Cargill Inc. announced Wednesday it would take steps to reduce its greenhouse gases (GHG) through a new initiative.

“BeefUp Sustainability” aims to reduce the company’s GHG emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Reductions will be measured on an emissions per-pound of beef basis, using 2017’s supply chain as a baseline.

In order to do so, Cargill says it will focus on multiple aspects of production including soil, water, feed and grazing management.

Carghill, one of the world’s largest beef producers, employs around 160,000 people in 70 countries.

“Significantly reducing GHG requires change across the entire supply chain,” said Heather Tansey, sustainability lead for Cargill’s global animal nutrition and protein businesses, in a press release

"We know the time to act is now and that agriculture can be part of the solution. We’re investing in science-based practices and have identified focus areas that will ensure we have the greatest environmental impact."

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How will it do this?

Part of the initiative involves working with outside programs to reduce water usage by 2.4 billion gallons of water in three years. 

Cargill will work with beef producers to use new management techniques for more sustainable grazing, soil and vegetation.

Cargill is also looking to outside companies and start-ups that can help find solutions for capturing nutrients in mature to increase profitability and sustainability.

According to a 2018 New York Times article, the meat industry is responsible for emitting 574 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. each year, or about 8 percent of the country’s total GHG emissions. 

Cargill has also been making efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its shipping, with shipping accounting for 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions annually.

Reuters reports that Cargill said it had cut its CO2 per cargo-tonne-mile by 12.1 percent in 2018 compared with its 2016 baseline.

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