Data Resources Supporting Soy Sustainability
Even before the seed hits the soil, the sustainability story of U.S. soy begins. Sustainability practices on the farm support the companies including soy in their products. Those products ultimately make their way to consumers who are looking for sustainably sourced ingredients in their purchases.
Consumers are asking for sustainability and transparency in food production. And consumer packaged goods companies across the country are responding by improving their sustainability. A product is only as sustainable as the sum of its parts, so it’s important that companies source ingredients that align with their sustainability goals. U.S. Soy is here to help brands meet those goals.
U.S. Soy conducts research and works with farmers to inform and populate tools that capture the story of soybean sustainability. Below are some of the resources that demonstrate the sustainability of U.S. soy.
Soybean Life Cycle Analysis
The Soybean Life Cycle Analysis measures the sustainability of five soy-derived feedstocks and the impact of each on greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental indicators throughout their life cycle, beginning with raw materials and including transportation, manufacturing, use and end-of-life treatment. The study also gives suggestions on how to reduce the environmental footprint of soybeans through simple applications.
U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol
Members of the U.S. Soy community, including USB, the U.S. Soybean Export Council and the American Soybean Association as well as U.S. soy industry partners, created the U.S. Soy Sustainability Assurance Protocol (SSAP) in 2013. Based on the U.S. national system of conservation programs, the SSAP outlines the steps U.S. soybean farmers follow to increase on-farm sustainability for their land and their customers.
Each year, more than 95% of U.S. soybean farmers participate in the U.S. Farm Program. Farmers who participate receive federal support via the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Services. The NCRS collaborates with farmers who implement a farm-specific conservation plan and audits participating farms to ensure compliance.
Field to Market National Indicators Report
Field to Market: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture unites representatives from across the agricultural value chain to define, measure and advance the sustainability of U.S. agriculture. The National Indicators Report analyzes sustainability metrics for U.S.-grown commodities such as soybeans, corn, cotton, potatoes, rice and wheat to benchmark current sustainability practices and identify areas for improvement. These key sustainability metrics are analyzed for the impact they have on environmental indicators such as greenhouse gas emissions, soil conservation and water quality. New versions of this report are released every five years. The next is set to drop in 2021.
2020 Sustainability Research Report
Every year, USB invests a significant amount of checkoff funds into production research to provide farmers with information about tools and techniques to improve sustainability and increase profit opportunities. The full report was created to provide a summary of each of the checkoff-funded research projects for 2019 and their impacts. The report includes descriptions of each project’s progress. Visit unitedsoybean.org/sustainability-report to download this report.
U.S. soybean farmers are dedicated to growing more soybeans with fewer resources — and U.S. Soy is committed to making sure the sustainability goals of the farmer align with the needs of the customer. From planting to the product shelf, U.S. Soy helps companies meet their sustainability goals.
U.S. Soy helps make whatever you make more sustainable. Steps to improve sustainability are taken throughout the soy value chain to create an environmentally friendly product for end users to sell to consumers. Farm practices such as precision agriculture, pesticide-resistance management, reduced tillage and buffer strips all positively impact environmental goals, including water quality, soil health and greenhouse gas emissions.
Visit unitedsoybean.org/sustainability-report to download the Soy Sustainability Report.