Sustainable Agriculture at the Largest Corporate Levels?

Monsanto Releases 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Report

Monsanto Company Logo

From a press release issued this morning over the PR Newswire from St. Louis, the Monsanto Company has released its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility Report) for the calendar year ending December 2011. According to the Bee, “The report details the company’s progress and challenges as it supports the needs of smallholder and large-scale farmers throughout the world as they work to produce more and conserve more from each acre of farmland, and work to improve the lives of people they serve.”

Monsanto Company’s executive vice president of sustainability and corporate affairs, Jerry Steiner, explained: “This report is an opportunity for us to continue a dialogue with our stakeholders and transparently discuss how we are working year-over-year to improve as a company and better achieve our vision.”

And that vision? Monsanto claims they are focused on sustainability.

Some Highlights From Monsanto’s CSR

Monsanto has highlighted their company’s efforts during the last year to:

  • Double the yields of its core crops of corn, canola, soybeans and cotton by 2030, compared to a base year of 2000. To date, the company has seen farmers in key countries achieve increased yields in these crops over the 2000 crop year levels (canola up 33%, cotton up 30%, corn up 20%, and soybeans up 11%).
  • Cooperate with industry partners and through cross-sector collaborations to develop actionable solutions to make agriculture more sustainable. Some of these collaborations include the Field to Market: The Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, the World Economic Forum’s “New Vision for Agriculture,” the Sustainability Consortium, and the Global Harvest Initiative.
  • Make a difference in the environmental impact of agriculture. This report highlights the launch of a partnership with the University of Florida to develop an improved model for predicting corn growth in the context of climate change. It also highlights company efforts to help farmers achieve greater energy efficiency in farming and in the production of renewable fuels.
  • Provide technology royalty-free to the Water Efficient Maize for Africa partnership to benefit smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. Research underway through the WEMA project will help produce more reliable harvests and better grain quality for millions of African farmers. Maize is the most widely grown staple crop in Africa – more than 300 million Africans depend on it as their main food source.
  • Provide fellowship opportunities to students seeking their Ph.D. in rice or wheat plant breeding through the Monsanto’s Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program. Rice and wheat are considered by many to be the most important staple crops in developing countries, providing necessary calories to feed billions of people every day.
  • Support a comprehensive systems approach, through the Aqua View initiative, which allowed growers to save 8,419,097,700 gallons of water in 2011. The water saved from this one initiative would fill more than 12,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
  • Support the advancement of education in rural communities. This year, Monsanto’s philanthropic arm made contributions of more than $2.3 million to aid 6,700 public school districts in 1,245 counties across 39 states. The effort, which supported 199 grants in science and math, will reach 14 million students.
  • Volunteer nearly 30,000 hours in communities through Monsantogether, the Monsanto employee volunteer program. This year’s volunteer time equates to employees volunteering 24 hours 7 days a week for three straight years.
  • Recognize Monsanto employees who exemplify the company’s values and commitment to sustainable agriculture through the Sustainable Yield Pledge Awards.

Read the complete story now, at The Sacramento Bee website, from June 28, 2012.

[Photo Via: kristinhinkley]

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