Changing weather patterns are already having profound effects on crops and communities, with agriculture both a cause and casualty. Emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use sectors now represent about 24% of manmade global warming pollution. These emissions come from many sources and processes – the release of nitrous oxide from the use of fertilisers; the release of methane from meat, dairy, and rice production; deforestation as farmers seek more land to increase yields; as well as energy and transport emissions.
As one of the world’s largest agri-businesses, our responsibility is clear. If the issues are not addressed climate change will impact global food security and prevent “the ending of poverty in all its forms everywhere” as defined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This is especially important given that all the ‘low hanging fruits’ on agricultural productivity have been exhausted with productivity rises averaging just 1.3% a year between 2001 and 2010, and 0.4% a year over the past 4 years.
Ensuring Olam and the estimated 5 million smallholder suppliers in our direct and indirect supply chain, are implementing mitigation and adaptation measures to increase resilience and limit global warming is integral to our strategy. This focuses on 4 pillars:
- Mitigate: Drive towards being a carbon positive business based on science based targets set in line with a 1.5°C pathway
- Adapt: Integrate climate-related risks and opportunities into all Olam business and investment decisions
- Advocate: Use our leadership to advocate locally, nationally and globally through multi-stakeholder processes and industry platforms
- Regenerate: Re-imagine global agriculture through the Living Landscapes approach
Read more about our Goals and progress against them, in the Natural Capital section of our Annual Report 2019.