McDonald’s Joins Collaboration to Reduce Agriculture Emissions

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by | Nov 4, 2021

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McDonald’s is committing $5 million over the next five years to help develop and implement farming practices that will help reduce emissions in agriculture.

The partnership is with AgMission, an international collaboration that says it ultimately wants to see the agriculture industry achieve net-negative emissions. The partnership includes the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers in Action and the World Farmers’ Organization.

McDonald’s joins PepsiCo as a founding partner of AgMission.

The partnership is part of McDonald’s efforts to achieve net zero across its operations by 2050 and increases its presence in sustainable agriculture. The restaurant has farming programs as part of its sustainability goals, including the McDonald’s Flagship Farmers Program and McCafé Sustainability Improvement Platform, which is a framework to produce sustainable sourcing in its coffee supply chain.

The AgMission collaboration aims to have farmers, ranchers and scientists work together to develop sustainable farming practices that can reduce emissions. They will use agricultural research and data to develop adaptation of practices that will be economically and environmentally sustainable, the organizations say.

The agriculture industry accounts for about 10% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, according to the collaboration, and nearly 24% globally. The United Nations says food production accounts for a third of the world’s emissions, including 35% from methane from livestock and other food growing practices.

Yet, agriculture is an industry with natural ability to be net negative for emissions, the AgMission groups say.

“Soil and farmlands already sequester one hundred more times carbon than is emitted in a year,” says USFRA CEO Erin Fitzgerald.

Regenerative agriculture is also becoming a more widespread practice. In addition to being a part of AgMission, PepsiCo is advancing that effort and said earlier in 2021 it would eliminate 3 million tons of GHG emissions through regenerative agriculture practices.

The company also says 80% of its raw agricultural materials were sustainably sourced in 2019 and is part of its focus of its recently announced pep+ program to improve its overall operations.

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