Glenn Elzinga herding cattle on the Alderspring Ranch (formerly the Moen Ranch which the Conservancy purchased and later sold to conservation buyers) at May, Idaho.
Herding cattle. Glenn Elzinga herding cattle on the Alderspring Ranch (formerly the Moen Ranch which the Conservancy purchased and later sold to conservation buyers) at May, Idaho. © Bridget Besaw

Companies Investing in Nature

A Roadmap to a Sustainable Beef System

How TNC Can Help Food Companies Meet Sustainability Goals

Together, we can transform our food system.

TNC developed a roadmap to help companies meet sustainability goals.

Our relationship with food is built on our relationship with nature. This is true from the businesses who source and sell our food to the consumers who buy it.

Our food depends on healthy soil, clean water and reliable climate patterns. Moreover, agriculture dominates our planet, with grazing lands and crops covering almost 40 percent of our land and using 70 percent of our freshwater. Nature thriving depends heavily on where and how we grow our food—and vice versa.

As the global population increases and food demand grows, the connections between people, food and nature become more important. To this end, businesses are increasingly incorporating these connections in their business models. One way we see companies doing this is by setting sustainability goals to address climate change by reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout their supply chain. 

With companies all over the world setting ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals, how do we track progress throughout the vast network of organizations, people, and activities moving a product or service from supplier to customer? This task is especially challenging in the U.S. beef industry where it’s inherently difficult to track the origin of a beef product. The Nature Conservancy recently tackled this challenge with McDonald’s.

McDonald’s set a target to reduce emissions in their supply chain by 31% - an ambitious and exciting goal. TNC and the University of Minnesota worked to analyze McDonald’s beef and chicken supply chains and identify mitigation opportunities. McDonald’s and their suppliers can now build programs to meet their greenhouse gas reduction goals, ensuring they are using their resources as efficiently and targeted as possible

Out of this effort, TNC developed a Sustainable Beef System Roadmap to help other companies identify opportunities and make supply chain improvements. We can help businesses in a mutually beneficial way:  to create environmental solutions that are economically beneficial by reducing future costs (including farmer/rancher costs) and making a product that more people want to buy.

Working together, we can transform our food system to not only feeding a growing a planet, but also to ensuring a future where people and nature thrive.

A collaborative approach to achieve economic and environmental benefits for people and nature.

Download the Roadmap

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