Our vision is to pioneer animal genetic improvement to help nourish the world.
Through our engagement with stakeholders, we seek to identify sustainability concerns at each level of our value chain. This guides us not just in what we do now but also helps us assess our future needs, risks and opportunities.
Our discussion with food producers, investors, our own team and customer focusing groups highlights a single issue of shared concern in sustainability. Climate change challenges not only our innovation in further GHG reduction, but in the way we are able to build further resilience to systems of food production on which we rely. Our response to climate change is therefore the primary focus of our sustainability strategy: however as a business that supports global food production, our focus also includes improving the productive capacity of soils, enhancing biodiversity and supporting transition towards renewable sources of energy in our own operations.
Our contribution to sustainable development
The Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aim to end poverty, protect the planet and increase prosperity for all.
Two of these SDGs provide a context to what we do: SDG 2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG 13 (Climate Action). Taken together, these goals contribute to feeding a growing global population, including in areas of the world most impacted by climate change.
Through our sustainability strategy, we support and contribute to these goals, by providing technologies which offer more resilient and productive animals, requiring less feed, water and land. We are also committed to monitoring and reducing emissions from our own operations.
Sustainability in the Genus value chain
Genus occupies a privileged position at the top of the value chain – we have the opportunity to influence sustainability at each level of production and to support our own customers’ sustainability priorities. We have used the UN’s SDG priorities to illustrate how these benefits are delivered at each relevant level.
Whilst our own 'operational' carbon footprint in 2021 was 96,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents, the impact of our genetics within the animal protein value chain dwarfs this total. On average, each of our pigs produces around 3.3Kg less CO2e than the average 'market' pig. Multiplied across the entire PIC 'customer' herd of roughly 190 million pigs, we reduce carbon emissions globally by almost 625,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide - or the same amount of carbon dioxide emitted from traveling 102 million times around the world by plane. And we aim to improve this with every new generation of our elite PIC animals.
Given the primary importance of carbon reduction to our customers, and the opportunity we have to transform agricultural emissions, climate has become a primary driver of our business strategy. Climate risks and opportunities now not only provide a context for the way we consider and respond to a fast changing market, but also as a 'standalone' risk which reflects this importance. The management of our climate risks and opportunities requires horizon-scanning of climate issues, methods for tracking our performance and structured governance to ensure Board oversight.
To ensure we can do this effectively, we have created a Sustainability Committee that reports to the Board on sustainability goals, progress, performance and future plans. We also have a group committee that focuses on animal wellbeing and seeks to ensure we consistently monitor and improve our approach to animal welfare.
The Sustainability Committee
The Sustainability Committee comprises a non-executive, executive leadership, and other senior leaders who head up different aspects of our sustainability programme. They meet three times a year to set objectives and review progress, recommend annual goals and initiatives, and identify effective means to monitor and report on our performance.
The Committee defines our strategy, reviews our policies and practices, and advises the Board in particular in relation to the following:
- Our sustainability governance
- Sustainability / Climate Risks and Opportunities
- The sustainability key performance indicators (KPIs) and annual performance against KPIs
- Policies and Standards
Committee on animal wellbeing
This committee focuses on animal wellbeing and meets quarterly. It oversees our commitment to animal wellbeing and welfare, the wellbeing principles involved, and the policies and activities we need to deliver these principles in practice.