Canada's Maple Leaf Foods says turns carbon neutral

FILE PHOTO: A sign for the Maple Leaf food processing plant is seen in Toronto August 21, 2008. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

(Reuters) - Maple Leaf Foods Inc has turned carbon neutral, the Canadian meat producer said on Thursday, amid rising demand worldwide from investors and public that companies act to reduce climate risks.

The owner of Schneiders, Mina and Maple Leaf Prime meat brands said as part of the efforts to become carbon neutral it was investing in projects, including those that support wind energy, throughout the country and in the United States.

Maple Leaf said it has already made significant progress toward reducing its environmental footprint by 50% by 2025.

Companies across the globe have either become carbon neutral or have set carbon neutrality targets as chief executives also face pressure from an upsurge in youth-led activism over climate change.

In September, Inc pledged to make the largest U.S. e-commerce company net carbon neutral by 2040.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in August global meat consumption must fall to curb global warming and that plant-based foods could contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

Maple Leaf is making progress toward delivering plant-based meat alternatives.

Lightlife burgers, which is made by the Maple Leaf unit Greenleaf Foods, has replaced Impossible Foods’ plant-based burgers at Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc chains.

But skepticism remains. Some have raised doubts whether publicly traded companies committed to maximizing shareholder returns will be able to make the sweeping investments required to fight climate change.

Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shailesh Kuber