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The world’s largest meatpacker, JBS, has committed to zeroing the balance of its global greenhouse gas emissions by 2040.
The decision was announced amid criticism of the company’s role in the Brazilian beef industry, which is blamed for driving rainforest destruction, with both consumers and investors threatening to boycott or divest from companies contributing to deforestation in the country.
JBS Chief Executive Gilberto Tomazoni told local media that around 90% of overall JBS emissions come from its supply chain and traditional cattle rearing emits 40-45 tonnes of carbon equivalent per tonne of meat produced.
As part of its plan, JBS has vowed to invest US$1 billion over the next ten years in carbon emission innovation. The commitment also involves a pledge to pay for reforestation and forest restoration initiatives.
JBS has pledged to stop processing cattle from illegally deforested areas in the Amazon by 2025 and in other Brazilian biomes by 2030. Those targets are also in line with JBS’ timescale of when it will be able to track both its direct suppliers and their suppliers.
Eventually, JBS said the adoption of intensive cattle farming will replace the ranches that now dominate the Brazilian market, which will help cut emissions.
JBS has also committed to using 100% renewable energy worldwide by 2040, while executives' variable pay will be measured against the delivery of environmental goals.