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Pilgrim's UK commits to net zero carbon emissions by 2030

The UK division of Pilgrim's Pride hopes to be the most environmentally sustainable pork supplier in the UK after committing to net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

15 July 2021, at 8:00am

Pilgrim’s UK, one of Britain’s leading farming and food businesses, has unveiled its roadmap for becoming net zero by 2030.

The pledge sees Pilgrim’s UK going further and faster than any other major company in its sector and will mean it reaches the net zero milestone 10 years ahead of the NFU’s industry-wide goal.

The roadmap forms part of Pilgrim’s UK’s sustainability strategy "Pilgrim’s UK 2030" which sets out its vision to be the most sustainable producer and supplier in the industry. It has been developed in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and as members of the UN Global Compact.

Steps to reach net zero by 2030:

  • Significantly reduce emissions across all sites within the business’ supply chain.
  • Continue to use 100% renewable electricity across its manufacturing sites.
  • Use only 100% verified deforestation-free, sustainable soya by 2025.
  • All packaging formats to be selected based on lowest carbon options available.
  • Neutralize all remaining residual greenhouse gas emissions using frameworks aligned with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Pilgrim’s UK’s net zero commitments form a key part of the sustainability targets of its parent company Pilgrim’s Pride, who recently became the first global protein company to commit to achieving net-zero by 2040. To support this, Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation also became the first major global protein company to issue a $1 billion sustainability-linked bond tied to efforts to reduce GHG emissions.

Pilgrim’s UK is industry leading when it comes to achieving low greenhouse gas emissions. Last year, its average pig farm footprint was 2.53kg CO2e/kg per live weight, which is half of the industry average level of emissions in the pork production process for the UK and Europe.

Its scope 1 and 2 emission reduction targets have been approved by the SBTi, deemed as consistent with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. The targets covering Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) from Pilgrim’s UK operations are consistent with reductions required to keep warming to 1.5°C, which is the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.

Matt Dight, Head of Sustainability at Pilgrim’s UK said: “The global food production and farming industry is often portrayed as being responsible for high GHG emissions. However, the UK is one of the countries leading the charge when it comes to driving more sustainable practices, and Pilgrim’s UK is a clear market leader when it comes to ensuring that it is preserving and enriching the rural environment.

“We already boast the largest higher welfare supply chain and most sustainable pig production system in the industry, driven by our successes on sustainable diet formulation and regenerative use of pigs within a wider mixed rotation system.

“Reaching net zero by 2030 is possible for our organization because we are starting from such a strong position, meaning we are able to be bolder in the pace and scale of our commitments than the rest of the industry. Our latest announcement makes us clear trailblazers, advancing at a faster rate than any of our nearest competitors.”