Sustainability initiatives in pet food

As sustainability takes hold in the pet food industry, companies and associations are doing everything they can to make a lasting impact.

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Sustainability has moved beyond a trend and is now a vital business practice. | (TAW4 I Shutterstock.com)
Sustainability has moved beyond a trend and is now a vital business practice. | (TAW4 I Shutterstock.com)

Sustainability is becoming more and more entrenched in the business practices of pet food companies. Below are four organizations and the ways they’re trying to make a difference in the pet space.

Bosch Petfood goes carbon neutral

As of 2020, Bosch Petfood’s production is officially carbon neutral. The Germany-based company’s production site in Blaufelden-Wiesenbach has implemented extensive energy-saving measures, and the remaining CO₂ generated from natural gas consumption is being offset by the company’s participation in a climate protection project. Working with non-profit association Primaklima, which focuses on preserving forests and reforestation, Bosch is supporting the protection of a primary forest on the island of Borneo in Indonesia that was threatened by deforestation for the paper industry.

DSM Animal Nutrition and Health’s We Make It Possible initiative

DSM has recently launched a new strategic initiative, We Make It Possible. The company aims to build on its heritage and experience in bringing sustainable business solutions to both its customers and the supply chain by transforming sustainable animal protein production. The initiative (which is aligned with several of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals) is driven by six sustainability platforms that will address the major challenges facing the animal farming industry: improving the lifetime performance of farm animals, improving the quality of food while reducing food loss and waste, reducing emissions from livestock, making efficient use of natural resources, reducing reliance on marine resources, and helping tackle anti-microbial resistance.

The Pet Sustainability Coalition’s 30-day and 1,000 Actions Challenge

In September 2020 (still ongoing as of the writing of this article), The Pet Sustainability Coalition (PSC), a non-profit organization that aims to accelerate sustainability in the pet industry, launched a 30-day challenge to “drive a more diverse, equitable and inclusive pet industry.” Individuals and companies who join the challenge are encouraged to find small, brief actions to foster awareness and action around diversity, equity and inclusion. Throughout the challenge, the PSC has been providing resources and guides to making a difference — and at the end of the challenge the PSC will report on the industry’s improvements.

Purina achieves 100% zero waste for disposal at corporate headquarters and all U.S. factories

In August 2020, Purina announced that it reached the goal to achieve zero waste for disposal across all (21) U.S. manufacturing operations and its corporate headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. Every facility involved has found ways to derive benefits from materials that would have otherwise been discarded, and all locations now recycle, reuse, recover or compost waste from daily operations. In certain cases, locations also may utilize destinations that convert waste to energy to generate power.

v-dog goes plastic negative

At the end of August 2020, vegan dog food company v-dog announced its partnership with rePurpose Global, a movement of conscious consumers and businesses going plastic neutral by financing the removal of landfill- and ocean-bound plastic worldwide. Beyond v-dog’s goal of being not just plastic neutral but plastic negative, the partnership also supports economic development by providing a crucial income stream for waste workers in developing nations and supporting experienced recycling social enterprises that uplift ex-waste pickers through occupational safety, health insurance and skills training. v-dog’s partnership supports Taka Taka Solutions, a waste recycling social enterprise in Nairobi, Kenya.

For the companion article, "Sustainability here to stay in the pet space — and beyond,” published in the October 2020 issue of Petfood Industry magazine.

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