Basel, Switzerland — Syngenta announced $2 billion will be spent over the next five years to help farmers prepare for and tackle the increasing threats posed by climate change. The investment supports a new Syngenta sustainability goal of delivering at least two technological breakthroughs to market each year, to reduce agriculture’s contribution to climate change, harness its mitigation capacity, and help the food system stay within planetary boundaries.
Erik Fyrwald, Chief Executive Officer at Syngenta also announced that the investment in research and development for sustainable agriculture will be matched by a drive to reduce the carbon intensity of the company’s operations by at least 50% by 2030 to support the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Syngenta’s commitment has been validated and endorsed by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
“Agriculture is now at the front line of global efforts to tackle climate change,” said Mr Fyrwald. “Syngenta is committed to accelerating our innovation to find better and ever safer solutions to address the shared challenge of climate change and biodiversity loss.”
“These aren’t just words, this is real action that will drive focus in Syngenta to help farmers tackle climate change and reduce the sector’s contribution to the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
The $2 billion will be directed towards programs with clearly differentiated benefits or breakthrough technologies that will enable a step change in agricultural sustainability, such as land use, soil health and integrated pest management.
Through a multi-year collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, Syngenta is developing strategies to identify and test new innovations and technology that can benefit farmers and contribute to positive environmental outcomes. The collaboration is grounded in efforts to promote soil health, resource efficiency and habitat protection in major agricultural regions worldwide.
Sally Jewell, CEO at The Nature Conservancy said: “Achieving conservation at scale will require bold action from the private sector. As businesses increasingly recognize the risks of climate change and the benefits of sustainability, we welcome the opportunity to contribute our science and expertise to help transform business practices. Syngenta’s investment in innovation is an important step toward a future where people and nature thrive.”
Cynthia Cummis, Director of Private Sector Climate Mitigation at World Resources Institute, one of the Science Based Targets initiative partners said: "We congratulate Syngenta for having their emissions reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. Leadership from the agribusiness sector is vital in the fight against climate change, and by setting these targets, Syngenta is putting themselves on a pathway to future-proof growth.”
The targets form part of Syngenta’s Accelerating Innovation commitment launched earlier this year to address the increased challenges faced by farmers because of climate change, soil erosion and biodiversity loss. Progress against these targets will be reported annually and independently audited. The announcement was in large part informed by the completion of 150 listening sessions around the globe to help the company’s leaders identify priority areas for investment.