Alltech has taken a significant step toward its sustainability goals and its vision for a Planet of Plenty™. Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech, signed a letter to the secretary-general of the United Nations, committing Alltech to the UN Global Compact focused on positive advancements in human rights, labour, the environment, and anti-corruption.
In addition, Alltech has committed to nine of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2015, all UN member states adopted the SDGs, which are an urgent call to action by all countries. Each SDG has specific, actionable targets that contribute to the overall goal.
The UN Global Compact, the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative, allows the UN to work with companies to help move the SDGs forward. Companies that join the Global Compact are asked to select the targets they feel are most closely aligned with their core business and are therefore actionable by the company.
"We believe that by adopting new technologies, improving business practices and embracing innovation, the agri-food sector can support a Planet of Plenty™," said Dr. Lyons, who was joined by Deirdre Lyons, co-founder of Alltech, and colleagues at the company's global headquarters. "Today, we join the growing number of organisations around the world united by a passionate commitment to building a more sustainable future."
Alltech chose nine SDGs that align directly with its core business and its vision for a Planet of Plenty™:
The definitive purpose of agriculture is to provide people with food. The ultimate goal would be to entirely alleviate world hunger and ensure that everyone on the planet has access to plentiful and nutritious food. Alltech's nutritional solutions for soil, crops and animal feed places it at the beginning of the food chain, and its global presence positions the company to work with others toward this goal.
Good health and well-being
The research being conducted by Alltech Life Sciences applies the company's 40 years of innovation in animal nutrition to human health. Alltech is achieving advancements in gut health and brain health, and it is making breakthroughs in alternatives to one of the most expensive medications in the US - insulin. Further, Alltech feed technologies support producers in reducing antibiotic use as antimicrobial resistance becomes a growing concern. The Lyons Family Life Foundation, established by the family of Alltech's founder, Dr. Pearse Lyons, aims to support patient care and medication safety.
As the cornerstone of success, education should be a top priority for every company and country, but the challenges facing progress are many, including a lack of resources. Alltech encourages its team members to continue education through career development opportunities and by providing internal avenues for learning and training. The company has also created initiatives to educate children and young people by funding and designing school laboratories, providing scholarship opportunities through the Alltech Young Scientist competition and forming alliances with universities to support scientific bachelor's and doctorate degrees.
As a science-based, global company, Alltech is positioned to have a positive effect on the development of this goal throughout the more than 120 communities in which it operates. Alltech believes that promoting diversity is essential to shaping a sustainable future. Partnering with efforts such as the Women in Food and Agriculture summit supports the empowerment of women and helps ensure that young people see themselves reflected in agriculture so they can envision a future career in the industry.
Decent work and economic growth
This goal is focused on reducing the practices of informal employment, child labour, human trafficking and the gender pay gap. The development of decent work and economic growth is essential to companies, the communities in which they conduct business and, indeed, the world. Alltech's global operations network adheres to stringent employment practices, and its presence in over 120 communities gives the company an opportunity to impart positive change on the regions it serves.
Climate change is one of the SDGs that affects people, animals and plants in all regions, on land and in water. Several Alltech products have been certified by the Carbon Trust to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The company plans to utilise its industry partnerships across the agri-food sectors to further promote nutritional technologies and improved farm management practices that reduce environmental impact.
Life below the water
Fish oil and fishmeal are often key components for animal diets. This contributes to overfishing of oceans, and producers are striving to identify sustainable solutions. Turning toward alternative feeds such as algae or insects has proved helpful, but there is still much that can be done to improve aquaculture's methods of food production. Alltech contributes to these efforts in several ways, including through the Alltech Coppens Aqua Centre in the Netherlands.
Life on land
This SDG considers challenges such as desertification, land degradation, drought and deforestation. Alltech specialises in natural solutions that maximise performance and yield of animals and crops through nutrition, technology and improved management, which can have a significant positive impact.
Partnerships for the goals
This goal seeks to align technology and science, which are central to Alltech's founding principle of innovation. Alltech shares the belief that the ambitious goals outlined by the UN will not be possible without connecting as many companies, organisations and individuals as possible in united action. Alltech's Planet of Plenty™ vision is a call for collaboration across industry sectors and geographical boundaries.
Along with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Alltech also committed to the Science Based Targets initiative. These targets are designed to help companies reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and share their progress through transparent documentation and reporting.
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