Monsanto Company plans to make its operations carbon neutral by 2021 through a program targeted across its seed and crop protection operations, and through collaboration 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,” said Hugh Grant, Monsanto chairman and chief executive officer. “That’s why we have pledged to do our part within our own business and to help support farmers and others.”
The company’s efforts focus on several key areas:
Seed Production – Monsanto will drive carbon neutral crop production in its seed production operations by leveraging products and agronomic approaches, such as breeding, plant biotechnology, data science, conservation tillage and cover cropping systems, with the goal of eliminating that portion of its carbon footprint. These practices can make a difference, 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. The company will work with farmers to promote and drive the increased adoption of these carbon neutral crop production methods.
Crop Protection – Previously, Monsanto announced a goal to reduce its operational greenhouse gas emissions intensity in its crop protection operations. To offset the remainder of its crop protection and other non-seed production operations, Monsanto is developing a program to provide incentives to farmer customers who adopt carbon neutral crop production methods – in exchange for part of their carbon reduction value.
Sharing – Monsanto will share data and modeling results with the broader agriculture, climate modeling and other communities to help drive the adoption of best practices and to reinforce the role crops can play in reducing carbon emissions. To date, these models are focused on the U.S. Corn Belt, where the most accurate data on crop yields, soil types, crop rotations and best management practices are publicly available. The models indicate that high yielding, carbon neutral corn and soybean production, in the United States alone, has the potential to reduce crop production emissions equivalent to 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equal to reducing 233 million barrels of oil consumption per year.