North American Meat Institute announces ambitious climate target

The North American Meat Institute announced Tuesday that all of its members will deliver independently approved, science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets in line with the Paris Climate Agreement goals by 2030.
calendar icon 10 November 2021
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The Meat Institute’s five new targets were released alongside its sustainability framework. It is part and package of a series of commitments launched through the Protein PACT for the People, Animals, and Climate of Tomorrow. The pact unites 12 leading US agricultural organizations that are committed to taking measurable action to accelerate progress toward global development goals.

“Our comprehensive sustainability framework will drive momentum and generate technical support for meat packers and processors of all sizes to establish independently approved science-based targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while producing the leading source of safe, high-quality protein in Americans' diets, sustaining healthy animals and a thriving workforce along the way," said Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts. 

The Meat Institute will support members in setting greenhouse gas reduction targets to be approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), which independently assesses and approves companies’ targets in line with its strict criteria. 

In addition, the organisation will collect data on metrics establishing transparent baselines and verifying progress toward ambitious goals for animal care, food safety, labor and human rights, and health and wellness.

The targets include the following: 

In 2022, companies representing 90% of meat produced by Meat Institute members will report data in the Meat Institute’s sustainability framework, with 100% of Meat Institute members reporting data on all metrics by 2030.

By 2025, 100% of Meat Institute members who handle animals will pass third-party audits for animal care during transportation and handling and all members will require all suppliers to implement mandatory employee training and follow species-specific standards for animal care.

By 2025, the Meat Institute will measure and help fill the protein gap to ensure families in need have enough high-quality protein to meet U.S. dietary guidelines. This will be done in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Feeding America.

By 2030, Meat Institute members will further reduce workplace injuries by 50% (2019 baseline), on top of the 75% reduction achieved from 1999-2019.

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