JBS hires its first sustainability officer

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Dive Brief:

  • JBS named Jason Weller as the company’s first Global Chief Sustainability Officer. He will oversee environmental, social and governance matters and sustainability strategies for the entire company.
  • Weller previously served as vice president of Land O’Lakes’ sustainability arm Truterra for two years. Before that, he was the butter company’s senior director of sustainability for three years.
  • As beef producers aim to improve the sustainability of their operations through implementing more climate-friendly practices, adding designated executives to their c-suite will help them get closer to their goals. JBS aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2040.

Dive Insight:

Weller’s time as a sustainability officer at another food company that works in animal agriculture gives him key experience to handle the beef giant’s mission to lower its emissions.

“His expertise in agricultural carbon markets and his passion for rural vitality make Jason the ideal person to drive JBS forward as we focus on combating climate change and achieving our ambitious sustainability targets,” JBS Global CEO Gilberto Tomazoni said in a statement.

At Truterra, Weller helped develop what JBS referred to as one of the largest agricultural carbon credit programs in the United States. Specifically, he led the company’s efforts to incentivize farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices through initiatives to give companies credits they can sell based on their emissions.

Weller also helped Truterra’s CPG partners achieve their own goals, such as validating their reductions of Scope 3 emissions — indirect sources of pollution, including those that come from operations of vendors they use.

The beef sector is ramping up its sustainability presence amid growing concern from consumers and investors about its greenhouse gas emissions, which have risen by more than 10% since 2000, based on Statista data. JBS committed to investing $1 billion in projects that target greenhouse gases, including $100 million to help producers implement regenerative agriculture practices by 2030.

Other beef producers have furthered steps to hire new executives to oversee sustainability efforts. Tyson hired John R. Tyson as its first chief sustainability officer in 2019. Since then, the meat giant has released annual sustainability reports, launched a coalition to advance sustainable protein efforts and set a goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Sustainability isn’t the only area JBS is aiming to target with a new executive hire. Last month, the company tapped Michael Koenig, a Pilgrim’s Pride veteran, as its global chief ethics and compliance officer, as it aims to prevent future price-fixing lawsuits and antitrust investigations.

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About the Author

Jervie David Montejar
A food lover who wants to try every delicious dishes around him and spread the news to everyone to try it as well. Finding the latest trends about food and restaurants around Cebu and the rest of the world :) "Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." -Ernestine Ulmer
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