Our Planet and Sustainable Agriculture
We work to balance agricultural productivity with societal demands for food, fuel and fiber and with the optimal use of environmental resources through solutions that help farmers grow crops more efficiently.
Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change
Climate change is already directly impacting agriculture and continues to be one of the most pressing challenges facing humanity. As a company entirely devoted to agriculture, we are particularly attuned to the potential effects of climate change including drought, extreme heat, severe weather events, rising sea levels, shifting pest infestations, compromised harvests and flooding.
Monsanto develops sustainable agronomic systems that include highly productive hybrids and varieties that enable farmers to produce more crops from existing farmland while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per acre of land and per bushel produced. These production systems can reduce or eliminate the need for tillage, which increases the ability of the soil to store and maintain carbon. Data analytics and precision agriculture techniques enable farmers to more precisely apply fertilizer, use fuel and water more efficiently, and maximize productivity from existing land. These are all components of carbon neutral farming.
Pursuing Carbon Neutrality
We are pursuing a multi-pronged approach to carbon neutrality. We’re striving to improve the GHG intensity of our crop protection business, investing in technologies that help us use energy more efficiently. We’ve established an internal carbon price, and we’re collaborating on approaches to increase farmer adoption of carbon neutral crop production. (Pages 60-62)
Ensuring Access to Fresh Water
Nearly 70 percent of all fresh water use by humans is used by agriculture. As fresh water becomes increasingly scarce due to greater demand, growing populations and the impacts of climate change, we have committed to optimize our water use and provide farmers with tools to increase water use efficiency, while also helping them adapt in times of water scarcity. (Pages 66-67)
We are members of the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate and sat on the Mandate’s 2015-16 Steering Committee – the initiative’s main governance entity.
Our global sites are engaged in water reduction activities. These include initiatives to increase our irrigation water application efficiency and move certain research activities from the field into state-of-the-art greenhouses, which enable us to capture and reuse the water used in irrigating research crops.
Biodiversity is defined as the variability of life on Earth – millions of plant, animal and microorganism species form ecosystems that are essential for life and for feeding a growing population in a changing climate. We are committed to actions that protect, preserve and restore biodiversity and the natural environment while benefiting farmers, our business and society – now and for generations to come. See our Position Statement on Biodiversity.
In 2016, we codified our biodiversity strategy to better align with the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, our business goals and the needs of farmers and society. We are working to:
- Protect species from challenges associated with farming to sustain and improve the viability of plant, animal and insect life, including pollinators. (Pages 70-72)
- Promote sustainable landscapes by conserving and restoring habitats to protect agricultural and natural resources. (Pages 78-79)
- Preserve and improve plant varieties to increase genetic diversity and share benefits to advance sustainable agriculture and farmer livelihoods. (Pages 78-79)