Tyson Foods Inc. this week published its 2019 sustainability report, “Grow -- Deliver -- Sustain,” outlining progress toward its sustainability goals and announcing key achievements in five focus areas: food, animal welfare, environment, workplace and communities. The goal of Tyson's sustainability initiative is to ensure that the company produces safe, nutritious food for the global population and makes a positive impact on the world.
The company said its commitments to help build a safer, environmentally sound and sustainable food system represent a key element of its broader vision to raise the world's expectations for how much good food can do. Tyson's strategy for sustainably feeding the world with the fastest-growing protein brands focuses on expanding its business by delivering superior value to consumers and customers, delivering fuel for growth and returns through commercial, operational and financial excellence and sustaining the company and the world for future generations.
“Our world has changed greatly as we have all faced the COVID-19 pandemic — together. Now, more than ever, the one constant is for companies of our size to provide the world with good food; we at Tyson Foods hold ourselves accountable to do our part,” Tyson chief executive officer Noel White said. “Our commitments are unwavering: to keep our people safe, be good stewards of animals and resources and advance sustainability to serve our customers.”
Sustainability report at a glance
The report builds on Tyson's decades of transparency in sustainability and details how the company is delivering on commitments made to create a safe workplace, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the welfare of animals entrusted to its care, among other milestones. Key highlights are as follows:
Food. Tyson said it is committed to sustainably offering the protein and food products consumers want. Through the introduction of its Raised & Rooted brand of plant protein and blended protein options, including burgers and nuggets, Tyson has become the largest U.S. meat producer to enter the growing alternative protein segment. Additionally, earlier this year, Tyson launched the Coalition for Global Protein, an initiative inclusive of the entire protein sector to identify, incubate and implement new and creative solutions for sustainable protein to feed a growing global population.
Animal welfare. Tyson is committed to being a leader in animal welfare through research, innovation and transparent communication. Over the past year, the company completed the construction of a new four-house commercial broiler research farm at the Tyson Foods Center for Sustainable Broiler Welfare Research and implemented scored welfare audits in its cattle supply chain. In addition, the company trained more than 1,000 team members in the U.S. Poultry & Egg Assn.’s Poultry Handling & Transportation Certification Program.
Environment. Tyson is committed to reducing its environmental footprint as it feeds the world. Most notably, the company is partnering with Environmental Defense Fund to develop and deploy initiatives that support its sustainability strategy and help meet increasing consumer demand for more sustainably grown food. A pilot project in conjunction with the Farmers Business Network that works to identify conservation practices and areas for improvement enrolled more than 400,000 acres of farmland in the first year. Furthermore, the company is working on a new initiative to set Contextual Water Targets and collaborated with the World Resources Institute to assess water risk and develop a water stewardship strategy. The water risk assessment focused on exposure to water stress across company processing facilities, locations where animals are sourced and locations where corn to feed animals is sourced.
Workplace. Tyson is committed to enabling its team members to reach their unique potentials. The company welcomed more than 18,000 team members through recent acquisitions and launched maintenance and refrigeration technical school partnerships with 60 technical schools, allowing the company to both recruit externally and help its internal talent build new skills. Additionally, Tyson expanded the We Care safety initiative by introducing the first group of exposure reduction coaches dedicated to in-field coaching and one-on-one mentoring.
Communities. Tyson is committed to supporting the communities it serves. The company reached its goal one year early to give $50 million in cash or in-kind donations over five years to fight hunger. Additionally, Tyson responded to natural disasters by using its facilities as distribution centers for Meals that Matter food donations.
“We publish this report because it promotes transparency in our work, because it increases collaboration and because it makes us better,” said John Tyson, chief sustainability officer for Tyson Foods. “It also drives accountability for all and provides context to stakeholders about the sustainability improvements we are realizing as we produce ‘good food’ for people all over the world.”