To secure a thriving food system for future generations, the food industry has a significant opportunity -- and responsibility -- to collectively help mitigate the impact of climate change and find more sustainable ways to feed people.
Reducing emissions at scale has to be the food industry's number one priority. But it's only part of the solution. Our approaches to agriculture, forestry and land use hold the potential for some of the most important solutions to climate change. Given that emissions can be pulled out of the atmosphere by soils, forests and oceans, it's critical that we protect these natural ecosystems and invest in food production and agricultural practices that can help restore nature by increasing biodiversity to actively capture carbon through soils and vegetation.
These actions matter because the health and prosperity of people around the world is negatively impacted by climate change -- directly through extreme weather events, like the wildfires currently ravaging the western United States, or indirectly through changes in water and air quality, access to food or lifespans.
As a business leader with a responsibility for driving long-term sustainability and resiliency, I believe the most effective solutions will be those that are pragmatic and inclusive.
Advances in science, research, technology and industry collaboration have already started to uncover many diverse solutions that could propel change forward at scale. For example, farmer and rancher-led programs have shown that regenerative agriculture methods can have the potential to significantly mitigate climate change by capturing carbon in the soil, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing biodiversity of plants and wildlife.
One of the most promising findings is that regenerative practices don't just benefit the environment, they can also benefit communities, including farmers and producers. Innovative approaches to land-use and soil health, such as cover cropping, reduced tillage and diversified crop rotations, can improve farm efficiency, production, profits and long-term resilience.
The biggest challenge is scaling all of this. Because supply chains are so vast -- and the challenge of climate change is so immense -- multi-stakeholder platforms and industry-wide collaborations become much more important. Establishing partnerships and initiatives can be transformational in terms of global reach and scale -- far outweighing what one corporation can achieve alone. It's also vital we listen to and learn from the experts -- in this case, our producers around the world who are already making a positive environmental impact.
Of course, the only way to truly implement widespread sustainable change is to drive positive social, economic and environmental benefits for everyone. This is even more urgent because producers and communities in general have been facing significant pressure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We need to take shared responsibility -- from corporations to governments -- for empowering, incentivizing and supporting meaningful action.
The year of 2020 has been an incredibly difficult one, but it has also heightened the importance of pressing forward with climate action across our industry. There is no single roadmap for success, but one thing is certain: Together we must take bold action in order to truly scale solutions across the industry to make the innovative practices of today commonplace tomorrow. Only then can we ensure the long-term resilience of our food system and our planet.