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ESG: Engaging with meat companies

esgAssets under management from institutional investors invested in support for sustainable protein has been growing exponentially year on year.

From 2019 to 2020, 88 investors representing $13.2 trillion in combined assets were on board with FAIRR’s sustainable protein engagement project. Between 2016 and 2017, 40 investors representing $1.25 trillion in assets were involved.

“Investors, who have been focused on some of the risks of how we are producing animals for food, are now looking at the climate impacts as well as the health impacts, and starting to think about what some of the sustainability risks are even with plant-based meat alternatives,” Maria Lettini, executive director of FAIRR, recently told Funds Europe. 

Companies like McDonald’s have to move quickly with their net-zero pledges, she says. “They almost can’t be left behind.”

Following a two-year investor engagement project with six leading fast food chains, five brands have now publicly stated that they will set, or have already set, science-based targets to reduce their emissions. These include McDonald’s and Domino’s.

Meanwhile, consumers’ appetite for vegan alternatives to meat continues to increase. According to Dutch bank ING, European sales of meat and dairy alternatives have grown by nearly 10% a year from 2010 to 2020. By 2025, the market in Europe and the UK is expected to be worth €7.5 billion.

Read more about the role investment plays in making the food iindustry sustainable here.

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