Monsanto Company recently announced at COP23 that they have made significant progress toward getting its operations carbon neutral by 2021, a commitment it made in December 2015. This is done by making operational improvements and utilising climate-smart modern agriculture tools and practices.
Monsanto has already reduced its carbon footprint by more than 200,000 metric tonnes, a reduction that is roughly equal to burning 200 million pounds less coal.
The company expects the rate of these reductions to accelerate over the next several years and is collaborating with farmers, NGOs and global partners to encourage the adoption of climate-smart practices across the agriculture industry. Monsanto’s approach to achieving carbon neutrality focuses on three main areas: internal operations, including seed production; breakthrough products; joint efforts with farmers and global partners.
Adapting to climate change
A common denominator across Monsanto’s approach is the role of crops and healthy soil in adapting to and mitigating climate change. Working with outside experts in data science on extensive modelling, Monsanto has demonstrated that certain modern agriculture practices and innovations can reduce emissions and enable crops to be grown in a way that absorbs and stores greenhouse gases in the soil in amounts equal to or greater than the total amount of gases emitted from producing those crops.
“Many of the practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions are quite beneficial for preserving natural resources, enhancing the efficiency of utilisation of nutrients and positively impacting water and air quality,” says Debbie Reed, Executive Director of the Coalition on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases.
“Increasing soil health and soil carbon is one major way that we can reduce greenhouse gases, and agriculture clearly has a role to play there. It’s related not only to natural resources but our ability to feed and sustain growing populations all over the world. There’s an interconnectivity there that is fairly unique to the agricultural sector.”More information on Monsanto’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral.