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'Good is what we do'

Smithfield Foods, the leading U.S. pork producer and exporter, has pledged that they will reduce their GHG emissions by 25% of their by 2030. But they didn’t let their bold claims stop there. They say they will become carbon negative in all company-owned operations in the U.S. by 2030. Sounds great until you start looking for the details of how they will achieve this...

Their claim is far from a detailed plan with most of the intended emissions reductions relying on their renewable projects.

Aside from using renewable energy (like wind and solar) for their facilities, Smithfield is scaling up the use of manure to produce biogas that can power ‘thousands of homes.’ For this to work, it will need tonnes and tonnes of animal manure. It is not clear how this will impact their ability to reduce emissions by 25%.

Another component to note on their ambitious goal to becoming carbon negative is that this is a US-only goal. Smithfield Food is an important subsidiary of the world’s largest pork company, WH Group. In recent estimates, WH Group’s GHG emissions were 23.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. WH Group does not have a global emissions reduction target, but instead points to Smithfield’s target. This indicates a worrying lack of a holistic approach.


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