Value Change Initiative launches its 4th Food and Agriculture Working Group – Aiming for Net Zero value chains

Value Change Initiative launches its 4th Food and Agriculture Working Group – Aiming for Net Zero value chains

Written by

Dino De Francesco

Bringing leading agricultural companies and experts together to create & share best practices to deliver on Scope 3 commitments and meet Science Based Targets

The Value Change Initiative is pleased to announce it launched its 4th Food & Agriculture Working Group on 29 November. This brings together Scope 3 experts with leading food and agriculture organisations including Nestle, Starbucks and Mars among others, to co-develop actionable, sector-specific guidance & solutions for the industry’s most pressing challenges to reduce emissions in the value chain. The Value Change Initiative is the world’s first and only multi-stakeholder initiative to help companies deliver on Scope 3 commitments and meet their Science Based Targets.

The Food and Agriculture sector is directly responsible for around one quarter of the total global CO2eq emissions. The majority of the emissions in the sector take place in Scope 3, or the value chain of agricultural companies.

Credible claims on Net Zero require Scope 3 action - yet despite increasing action in many areas, the intrinsic complexity of the sector requires further cooperation to catalyse and scale effective solutions. Challenges in the sector include insufficient collaboration due to ambiguity of co-claiming of climate outcomes with value chain partners, and lack of guidance on accounting methodologies, especially on complex Food and Agriculture specific activities such as crop rotation.

This year, the VCI launched its fourth Food & Agriculture Working Group, continuing to address sector-specific needs and challenges and co-create solutions to catalyse Scope 3 action. The Working Group aims to extend the existing Value Chain Guidance to ensure it supports the realities and complexities of Scope 3 accounting in the Food & Agriculture sector.

The Working Group kicked off with 35 organisations - including senior sustainability professionals from Arla, Perennial, Organic Valley and Stonyfield Organic. GHG Protocol and Science Based Targets initiative are technical partners in the Working Group.

The Working Group members will meet through 2024 to co-create and test guidance, tools, and implementation trajectories to solve practical, sector-specific Scope 3 challenges and achieve ambitious targets. The first meeting introduced Working Group members to share their challenges and priorities for reducing their Scope 3 emissions.

Francesca Palamidessi, VCI Secretariat Senior Manager said:

“The purpose of this Working Group is to credibly decarbonise the food industry. We are delighted to be facilitating the empowerment of Food and Agriculture companies to accelerate collective action, whilst credibly accounting and claiming impact against their SBTi targets.”

“We are well into the overshoot of the 1.5°C pathway. Sector transformation, including in the land sector, is the first and most important work we must do to get to Net Zero,” shared Martha Stevenson, Senior Director Forest Research and Strategy at World Wildlife Fund, the keynote speaker in the first session.

“With 60% of the arable land surface globally comprised of working forests, pastures, and farmlands, aligning land management objectives with global climate and nature goals is the biggest opportunity within the land sector.”

“I commend the Value Change Initiative and this group of companies for coming together to take on this space with solutions-oriented dialogue. We’re at a defining moment for the sector to see whether we rise to the challenges.”

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About the Value Change Initiative

The Value Change Initiative is the world’s leading multi-stakeholder forum working to remove barriers to address and account for Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions to drive action at scale. The Value Change Initiative is co-founded by Gold Standard and climate impact verifier SustainCERT. It works alongside recognised frameworks such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and the Science Based Target Initiative to create best practices and guidance to accelerate the transition towards Net Zero.  

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