Hormel Foods has committed to setting a Science Based Target by 2023. This was a publicly-stated goal as part of our 20 by 30 challenge, which includes several environmental and climate-related goals. The company submitted its SBTi information in July of 2022 and is awaiting final validation from the Science Based Target Initiative governing body. The SBTi is a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi call to action is one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments. Once validated, the SBTi goals will be made public and the company will track progress against the goals, including reporting publicly its progress.
As part of this commitment, we will agree to follow SBTi’s Forest Land and Agriculture (FLAG) Guidance. The Forest, Land and Agriculture Science Based Target Setting Guidance is the world’s first standard for companies in land-intensive sectors to set science-based targets that include land-based emissions reductions and removals. The guidance requires that Hormel Foods commit to no-deforestation across its primary deforestation linked commodities. Under the timeline established by SBTi, Hormel Foods must finalize the commitment by December 31, 2024. Understanding the importance of deforestation concerns, we are committing to accelerating the development of the no-deforestation policy from the date established by SBTi.
- Key requirements of the SBTi FLAG Guidance https://sciencebasedtargets.org/sectors/forest-land-and-agriculture
- Set near-term FLAG science-based targets: 5-10 year emission reduction targets in line with limiting warming to 1.5°C.
- Account for removals in near-term FLAG science-based targets: GHG removals include approaches such as improving forest management practices and enhancing soil carbon sequestration on working lands.
- Set long-term FLAG science-based targets: Companies in the forest, land and agriculture sectors will reduce at least 74% of emissions by no later than 2050. They should use the SBTi Net-Zero Standard to set long-term FLAG science-based targets.
- Zero deforestation targets must be set for no later than 2025: In line with the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi).
- Set science-based targets for fossil emissions: Businesses with land-based emissions are required to set FLAG science-based targets AND science-based targets, since all companies produce fossil emissions.
Additionally, Hormel Foods is committing to a detailed review of the company’s forest footprint in 2023. Once completed, we will review appropriate independently verified deforestation-free approaches and communicate targets for a verified deforestation-free supply chain by 2025.
The forest footprint review will also allow us to better evaluate and assess improved disclosure of Scope 3 emissions related to deforestation and land-use change in subsequent CDP Climate Change responses. While not required by SBTi, Hormel Foods understands that inclusion of native vegetation conversion and primary forest degradation language is strongly supported by SBTi and other stakeholders. We will work to include the appropriate language in our deforestation-free policy.
Finally, Hormel Foods commits to increasing the level of detail disclosed related to primary deforestation linked commodity programs through the annual CDP Forests response. The organization will evaluate including additional sourcing information at the completion of the detailed review of the company’s forest footprint. This additional detail will include disclosures of nonconfidential information related to the company’s beef supply in Brazil and supporting procurement policies which will be reviewed and updated as appropriate.
We will continue to work closely with third-party experts to fulfill these commitments.