Our Path to Climate-Smart Beef

As we look down the long road to more sustainable food systems, we recognize that the majority of emissions in Tyson Foods’ value chain are from beef production. So that’s why we’ve decided to make the most consequential investment of our sustainability journey. Many beef producers have been working to make beef more sustainable for decades. Through transparency of practices and impact, we hope to accelerate our collective efforts to work towards a more sustainable food system. Today, the cow calf sector accounts for about 70% of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions in beef production.

The biggest emissions challenge in beef production is also our greatest opportunity.

So while we have other sustainability efforts underway, our Climate-Smart Beef Program is a key initiative. It allows us to work parts of our value chain in a new way, using science as our guide. Our ambition is to continuously drive adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices that reduce emissions, and hopefully create value along the way.

With the help of our independent supply partners, and propelled by some of our environmental advisors’ original thinking, our Climate-Smart Beef Program seeks to achieve a series of goals. Tyson aims to:

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Use data to pinpoint areas of improvement

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Deploy climate-smart practices with partners across the supply chain

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Scale the adoption of climate-smart practices

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Incentivize partners to implement climate-smart practices

Innovative models like the one we have developed make it possible to estimate and analyze our emissions and ensure our practices have data-driven results.

Our Climate-Smart Beef Program is just the beginning of our journey in working to become more sustainable for current and future generations. We’re proud to join many other independent supply partners, scientific experts and conservationists in working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from pasture to production.


Reimagining the Future of Beef Production

We’re working on behalf of the next generation. Whether part of the Tyson family or our extended family of independent supply partners and producers, it is our hope that the steps we take today in the areas of transparency, agricultural intelligence and collaboration will begin to make climate-smart beef a reality for everyone, everywhere.

We’re Investing in Production Transformation to Raise Better Beef Now and Into the Future


Working to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Building a Climate-Smart Supply Chain

As part of our Climate-Smart Beef Program, we’re aiming to work with enrolled producers and feedlots throughout our supply chain to integrate environmentally responsible agricultural practices. Advanced technology will be essential to consistent and transparent communication. From silage production to processing and packaging, the data we collect will measure our efforts and keep ourselves accountable.


We Believe Collaboration is the Way to Decarbonization

As a leading global food company, our scale positions us to work to expand the scope of our Climate-Smart Beef Program and promote the expansion of climate-smart agricultural practices. However, the reality is that we can’t do it alone. Along with our value chain partners, we also work outside our industry with NGOs and other climate experts. In fact, our Climate-Smart Beef Program was developed with the help of environmental scientists and experts at Environmental Defense Fund and The Nature Conservancy. Our relationship with climate experts is key to meeting our goals. And we believe that to do so, we must also continually collaborate with our independent supply partners, such as ranchers and feedlots, and our customers. We aim to better understand their respective needs and enable long-term sustainable practice adoption throughout the beef value chain.

Agricultural Intelligence

We’re Committed to Our Climate-Smart Beef Program

To incentivize climate-smart row crop practices, we’ve begun to work with independent farmers who grow the corn that feeds our cattle. Farmer collaboration will be critical in accounting for GHG emissions and working towards reductions. We’ll be able to work with independent producers and feedlots who are implementing agricultural practices that research shows to enhance the natural carbon sink of agricultural soils, improve soil health and ideally reduce overall costs and improve farmer resilience. This is the first big step toward achieving GHG emissions reductions in our beef value chain, marking the start of a long, exciting journey.

We’re also investing in innovative technology research to reduce methane emissions, which is part of our long-term effort to reduce GHG emissions. Our accounting methodology and models estimate the carbon impact of each individual animal in the program and allow us to share metrics with the value chain that participates in the program. This way, we can work to continuously improve and adapt climate-smart processes over time. By working with producers to adopt climate-smart practices, which have reduced greenhouse gas emissions, we anticipate producers will see additional benefits such as minimization of soil erosion, prevention of water run-off, improvement of water quality, conservation of habitats and increased biodiversity. These practices may also lead to healthier herds, increased yields and stronger resiliency overall.


We’re committed to tracking and addressing cradle-to-gate GHG emissions to reach a 30% reduction by 2030.

Where We Are and Where We’re Going

True transformation of the beef industry can only happen if food companies like us take the lead. And while we’re encouraged by the progress we’ve made with the Climate-Smart Beef Program, there is still a lot of work to do. So we’re committed to developing innovative and credible farming practices with the latest technology, and value the knowledge our supply chain partners bring to the table at every stage in our process. Together, we aim to continue to reduce emissions related to beef production in the years to come, as well as apply our learnings to other parts of the meat industry.

We’re committed to transparency and addressing cradle-to-gate GHG emissions, which will ultimately help us to reach our goal of a 30% reduction in GHG emissions in our beef production lines by 2030. By that same year across the company, we’re also aspiring to support climate-smart practice adoptions on two million acres of row crop land and to purchase 100% of our feed from growers using climate-smart practices. We believe this work will also help us to reach our ultimate ambition of net-zero emissions by 2050.

For more information, check out our frequently asked questions.