Food and beverage giant PepsiCo and U.S.-based food processor and producer ADM announced the launch of a new strategic partnership aimed at addressing the climate impact of farming in their supply chains, by supporting projects to expand regenerative agriculture.
The new 7.5 year strategic commercial agreement is expected to reach up to 2 million acres by 2030, and is anticipated to eliminate up to 1.4 million metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the farm level, equivalent to the amount of electricity used to power 275,000 homes per year.
Agriculture has emerged as a major focus area for climate action, as the sector accounts for a significant proportion of GHG emissions, and is among the most difficult areas to address climate impact. The sector contributes a significant proportion of the climate impact of the food and beverage sector, which in turn accounts for approximately a third of global GHG emissions.
Regenerative agriculture practices are aimed at addressing the environmental impact of the sector, and include techniques to improve and restore ecosystems, build soil health and fertility, reduce emissions, enhance watershed management, increase biodiversity, and improve farmers’ livelihoods.
The new partnership will initially focus on corn, soy and wheat farmers across Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Nebraska, and include initiatives covering crops, reduced tillage, nutrient management, diverse rotations, and responsible pesticide use.
The new initiative follows the launch last year by PepsiCo of its wide-ranging sustainability agenda, pep+, which includes “Positive Agriculture” as one of its three key pillars, with a goal to spread regenerative practices to restore the Earth across the company’s 7 million acre agricultural footprint.
Jim Andrew, Chief Sustainability Officer at PepsiCo, said:
“At its core, PepsiCo is an agricultural company, working to spread regenerative agriculture practices that restore the earth and reduce carbon emissions to 7 million acres by 2030. This partnership with ADM marks a sea change in how PepsiCo engages with strategic partners and is expected to help us reach almost one-third of that goal.”
The agreement also supports ADM’s sustainability goals under its “Strive 35” program, which includes targets to reduce GHG emissions by 25% energy intensity by 15%, water intensity by 10%, and achieving a 90% landfill diversion rate by 2035 against a 2019 baseline. ADM has also committed to reduce Scope 3 emissions 25% by 2035 and to achieve a completely deforestation-free supply chain by 2030.
ADM Chief Sustainability Officer Alison Taylor, said:
“Today’s announcement is a major step forward, as we work with a partner whose values align with our own to scale up regenerative agriculture in a way few other companies can. We’re excited to take the next big step in reducing carbon and making our entire food system more sustainable.”