Tyson Foods has outlined plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in an update to its previous reduction target.

The meat-processing giant said today (9 June) the commitment underscores its efforts to “combat the urgency of the growing climate-change crisis”. It added the 2050 target includes emissions under scopes one to three.

“Achieving net-zero emissions is a large undertaking which will look at emissions tied to direct global operations, energy sources and throughout the company’s supply chain,” Tyson said in a statement.

The company said its previous commitment was to achieve a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030 to align with worldwide efforts to limit global temperature increases to 2℃.

However, Tyson is adjusting its sustainability strategy in accordance with the Paris Agreement to restrict the rise in temperature to 1.5℃ by the end of 2023.

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John Tyson, the meat firm’s chief sustainability officer, said: “As the first US-based protein company in the food and beverage sector to have an emissions reduction target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, we hope to continue to push the industry as a leader and remain committed to making a positive impact on our planet, with our team members, consumers and customers, and in the communities we serve.

“At Tyson Foods, we believe progress requires accountability and transparency and we are proud to exemplify that as we work to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Tyson, which last week revealed the departure of its CEO and president Dean Banks, is also “establishing a pathway” to use 50% renewable energy across its US operations by 2030.

Other initiatives within the climate-change agenda include working to increase Tyson’s current target of using five million acres of grazing pasture for sustainably produced beef and continuing to eradicate the deforestation risk across its global supply chain by 2030.

In terms of biodiversity related to land stewardship, Tyson aims to “complete” its initial target to improve environmental practises on two million acres of US farmland by 2025 after it missed the previous 2020 goal laid out three years ago. The land area currently stands at 408,000 acres. A new 100% target land mass has been introduced by 2030.

Donnie King, who supersedes Bank as president and CEO, said: “Our net-zero ambition is another important step in our work toward realising our aspiration to become the most transparent and sustainable food company in the world. Partnership and collaboration will be critical to our efforts, and we look forward to working with our customers, supply chain partners, and other stakeholders to achieve net-zero.”