One year after achieving carbon neutrality, Maple Leaf Foods ranked second globally in the Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index, the world's only comprehensive sustainability ranking of the 60 largest publicly traded animal protein producers
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (TSX: MFI), a leading North American producer of high-quality, sustainable meat and plant-based proteins, announced today that it has been ranked second and one of only three 'low risk' investments globally in the 2020 Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index, marking another key step in the organization's purposeful journey to become the most sustainable protein company on earth.
The Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index* is an award-winning environmental, social, and governance (ESG) ranking of the world's 60 largest publicly traded protein producers. Companies are assigned scores against ten sustainability factors including: governance, greenhouse gas emissions; deforestation and biodiversity loss; water scarcity and use; waste and pollution; antibiotics; animal welfare; working conditions, food safety, and alternative proteins.
"We are grateful that the meaningful progress we made on our sustainability journey throughout 2020 has been recognized by the Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index," said Michael McCain, President and CEO. "At Maple Leaf Foods, we believe that real change results from meaningful action. We are acting with urgency to address the negative impact of carbon emissions and to create better food, better care, better communities and a better planet now and for future generations."
In 2019, Maple Leaf Foods was ranked 7th globally in the Coller FAIRR Index, and in the past year, since achieving carbon neutrality and becoming one of only three animal protein companies in the world to adopt science-based emissions targets, the company has risen in the ranking to second. Not only is Maple Leaf Foods one of the highest ranked companies globally, it is the only Canadian protein producer included on the ranking and is the highest ranked protein producer in North America.
"Sustainability is integral to everything we do and make at Maple Leaf Foods," said McCain. "We are proud to see our dedication to a healthy planet and a healthy future for all people reflected in our global ranking as one of the most sustainable protein companies on earth – and to demonstrate that sustainability and a thriving business are not mutually exclusive goals. Maple Leaf Foods intends to lead in sustainability for years to come, and we have ambitious science-based targets that will propel us toward our goal of becoming the most sustainable protein company on earth."
Maple Leaf Foods' leadership in plant protein was one of the key factors that contributed to the company's rise in the global rankings. In fact, Maple Leaf Foods is the only company to achieve a 100% score in the alternative protein category in the 2020 Coller FAIRR Index, and the only company to have set a target to achieve $3 billion in plant protein sales by 2029.* In 2020, Maple Leaf Foods enhanced its leadership in alternative proteins by introducing the new fusion protein category with the launch of Maple Leaf 50/50™. A direct response to rising consumer interest in flexitarian eating and plant-based protein, Maple Leaf 50/50™ products are made with 50% premium quality meat and 50% natural and plant-based protein for consumers who want to make sustainable protein choices for themselves, their family and the planet – without giving up meat entirely.
Sustainability is a company-wide initiative at Maple Leaf Foods that encompasses every aspect of the business. Next steps on the company's journey to become the most sustainable protein company on earth include achieving a 50% intensity reduction in its environmental footprint and food waste by 2025, and reducing absolute Scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas emissions and Scope 3 emissions per tonne of product produced by 30%, by 2030 following science-based targets. Maple Leaf Foods is also committed to maintaining its net carbon footprint at zero, through focusing on avoiding and reducing emissions and offsetting unavoidable emissions that currently cannot be reduced. The company has invested in 11 high-impact environmental projects across North America, including waste diversion renewable energy and forestry initiatives.
Maple Leaf Foods is a producer of food products under leading brands including Maple Leaf®, Maple Leaf Prime®, Maple Leaf Natural Selections®, Schneider's®, Schneiders®, Country Naturals®, Mina®, Greenfield Natural Meat Co.®, Lightlife®, Field Roast Grain Meat Co.™ and Swift®. Maple Leaf employs approximately 13,000 people and does business in Canada, the U.S. and Asia. The Company is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario and its shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MFI).
Forward-Looking Statements This news release contains forward-looking statements based on the Company's current expectations and assumptions relating to its environmental performance, its sustainability and emission reduction efforts, as well as the effectiveness of these efforts and initiatives. As these forward-looking statements depend upon future events, actual outcomes may differ materially depending on factors such as: operating performance, the results of sustainability and emission reduction initiatives, the performance of third parties from whom off-sets are purchased and the third-party certification processes for off-sets. These statements are based on current expectations, estimates, forecasts, and projections but there can be no assurance that the results or developments anticipated by the Company will be realized. For more information refer to the Company's Annual Management's Discussion and Analysis for the year ended December 31, 2019, its most Annual Information Form (both available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com) and its most recent Sustainability Report available at www.mapleleaffoods.com.