Sustainability report questions Beyond Meat’s environmental benefits, but is it a fair analysis?

| | August 17, 2020
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Beyond Meat is lacking in environmental impact disclosures when compared to conventional meat giants Hormel and Tyson Foods, according to an analysis by Trucost, a part of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The analysis, which looked at company reporting in 2018, gave Tyson 98% on its weighted environmental disclosure ratio. This looks at how much the company tells about its complete operational environmental impact and costs. Hormel got a 99% in this category. Beyond Meat scored a 0%. The analysis also gave both traditional meat companies 100% scores on their weighted disclosure for greenhouse gases, which is reporting their emissions and costs in this area. Beyond Meat received a 0%.

Beyond Meat said the company is committed to making plant-based meat that is better for people and the planet. It noted work in 2018 the company did with the University of Michigan to quantify the environmental benefits of producing the Beyond Burger versus conventional beef.

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Dive Insight:

….[A] deeper question is whether this assessment is even fair. The scores in this report are based on specific disclosures, not on actual sustainability. The report shows that the plant-based company doesn’t produce the same kinds of environmental reports.

[In 2018], Beyond Meat had never posted a profit and only had one major product: the Beyond Burger. While the Beyond Burger at this point was available at about 28,000 places — including 11,000 restaurants and foodservice outlets — it had not yet expanded its distribution beyond the United States.

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