Multinational agricultural corporation Monsanto Co. announced plans Tuesday to make its operations carbon neutral by 2021. The company intends to achieve this goal through the use of a unique program targeted across its seed and crop protection operations and through collaborations with farmers.
“Climate change is one of the biggest issues we face in agriculture, as well as one of the most pressing challenges facing humanity,” says Hugh Grant, Monsanto chairman and CEO. “That’s why we have pledged to do our part within our own business and to help support farmers and others. While progress has been made to reduce agriculture’s carbon footprint, we must work collectively to do even more if we are going to sustainably feed 9.6 billion people by 2050. Agriculture is uniquely positioned to deliver climate change solutions and we hope that policy makers recognize the role agriculture, farmers and crops can play in mitigating carbon emissions.”
The company seeks to become carbon neutral in its seed production by utilizing a variety of products and agronomic approaches such as breeding, plant biotechnology, data science, conservation tillage and cover cropping systems. Through the use of these methods, Monsanto says it has seen improvements like allowing corn and soybeans to be grown such that soil absorbs and holds greenhouse gases equal to or greater than the total amount emitted from growing those crops.
Monsanto is also targeting its crop protection business to be carbon neutral by 2021. To offset the remainder of its crop protection and other non-seed production operations, Monsanto is working to develop a program to provide incentives to farmer customers who adopt carbon neutral crop production methods – in exchange for part of their carbon reduction value. Monsanto will use those reductions as offsets to neutralize its remaining carbon footprint.
More on Monsanto’s carbon neutral goal can be found here.