A. We have teams leading many remarkable initiatives, and we are proud of the progress we’ve made this year. While we would encourage you to read the entire report, we will highlight four accomplishments.
• We worked with World Resources Institute to set an ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030 across our value chain. Our target was accepted by the Science Based Targets initiative, making us the first U.S. protein company in the food and beverage sector to receive such approval.
• We are piloting a land stewardship program with Environmental Defense Fund that, if successful, will lead to a change in our ability to monitor and transform key environmental measures. We are partnering with farmers to scale practices that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve water quality and maximize farmer profitability. We are measuring the results at the field level using cloud-based technology from MyFarms and Farmers Business Network. Our initial pilot is focused on 500,000 acres of corn and our plan is to expand to two million acres by 2020.
• Our award-winning Upward Academy educational program provides team members with important life skills, offering free classes in English as a Second Language, General Educational Development, citizenship and functional literacy. The program is currently running in 33 of our plant locations, and we plan to launch in 24 more locations in the coming year.
• We’ve become the first food company to license Progressive Beef, the largest-ever cattle sustainability program verified through USDA approved auditors. The program certifies that cattle feedlot operators are following best practices for animal welfare, food safety, responsible antibiotic use and environmental sustainability.