Industry

Soy: The Secret Ingredient to Help Companies Achieve ESG Success

These days, companies are being assessed on far more than just their bottom line and the possible return on investment delivered to investors.

A company’s overall strength is directly tied to bigger factors in three buckets: environmental, social and governance, or ESG. Each factor gives companies a snapshot of how they’re performing in areas with metrics less tangible than dollars and cents.

Forbes Advisor provides a summary of how companies measure success in these three areas:

  • Environmental. What kind of impact does a company have on the environment? This can include a company’s carbon footprint, toxic chemicals involved in its manufacturing processes and sustainability efforts that make up its supply chain.
  • Social. How does the company improve its social impact, both within the company and in the broader community? It looks at how a company advocates for social good in the wider world, beyond its limited sphere of business.
  • Governance. How do the company’s board and management drive positive change? Governance includes everything from issues surrounding executive pay to diversity in leadership, as well as how well that leadership responds to and interacts with shareholders.

Who’s keeping score? 

Global ESG research firms such as Sustainalytics provide scorecards that show a company’s risk rating. Sustainalytics defines risk ratings as those “which measure a company’s exposure to industry-specific material ESG risks and how well a company is managing those risks.”

That is precisely what they did for Sport Group, the parent company of SYNLawn, the soy-backed grass manufacturer. Sport Group was rated No. 1 for Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) in Sustainalytics’ Building Products Category.  The company ranked 1 out of 136 companies in building products, rated by Sustainalytics worldwide.

Soy is SYNLawn’s secret ingredient

SYNLawn uses a combination of U.S. Soy in the backing, sugarcane in fibers and additional biobased content in its infill systems to earn the USDA Certified Biobased Product Label recognition of up to 88% biobased content. Through their displacement of petroleum, biobased products reduce greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbate global climate change.

Since 2008, SYNLawn has installed more than 168 million square feet of U.S. Soy-backed grass in more than 200,000 sites in the United States and in 19 other countries. For 2021, North America’s largest manufacturer of artificial grass increased its use of U.S. Soy by 10%.

“U.S. Soy is a centerpiece for our sustainability innovation,” says SYNLawn’s Technical Sales & Product Manager Davis McDougal, who is continuously pursuing even greater progress.

SYNLawn’s soy-backed grass is recyclable and conserves water. Its use eliminates the need for pesticides or emissions from lawn mowing. When installed on road medians, workers no longer need to mow in hazardous locations. The product lasts for years, which further contributes to its cost-effectiveness.

So, there you have it. SYNLawn is just one example of soy helping companies meet or exceed their ESG performance goals. How can soy help your company thrive in today’s competitive environment?

USB Staff Writer

Staff Writer

United Soybean Board

United Soybean Board’s 78 volunteer farmer-directors work on behalf of all U.S. soybean farmers to achieve maximum value for their soy checkoff investments. These volunteers invest and leverage checkoff funds in programs and partnerships to drive soybean innovation beyond the bushel and increase preference for U.S. soy. That preference is based on U.S. soybean meal and oil quality and the sustainability of U.S. soybean farmers.