Times Less Emissions

Growing the ingredients for Burcon’s plant-based protein emits 100x less greenhouse gases



Burcon has issued over 290 patents since its founding



Burcon’s production facility has the capacity to process 20,000 tonnes of yellow field peas and canola

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The Path to Drawdown: Plant-based Diet

The meat-centric Western diet is responsible for one-fifth of global emissions. Land clearing, fertilizer use, and methane from burping cattle combined take an enormous toll on the environment and the climate.

Shifting to a diet rich in plants is a demand-side solution that reduces emissions and tends to be healthier. If the world adopted a vegan diet, business-as-usual emissions could be reduced by as much as 70%, and a vegetarian diet could reduce emissions by 63%. On top of this, adopting a plant-based diet could help save $1 trillion in annual health-care costs and lost productivity.

Global dietary preferences based on meat, fish and dairy products are deeply ingrained in Western cultures, as well as in lower-income countries as they develop. Bringing about dietary change requires plant-based options that are widely available, visible, and enticing, including high-quality meat substitutes.

Project Drawdown estimates that, if 75% of the global population adopts a plant-rich diet by 2050, this dietary change can reduce GHG emissions by up to 91.72 gigatons: 68.32 gigatons from diverted agricultural production, 23.16 gigatons from avoided land conversion, and 0.24 gigatons from sequestration from ecosystem protection.

What We Want to See Improve

Achieve Profitability

In May 2019, Burcon and two other companies entered into a partnership (p. 9) to build a new commercial production facility in Manitoba, Canada. The construction of this facility was completed in December 2020. As of today, Burcon has not made revenue from the sale of its products. We eagerly await the scaling of their production to the point of reaching profitability.

Report Sustainability Metrics

We’re on board with Burcon’s claim that their proprietary protein extraction and purification technologies consume much less energy than animal protein production. But we need to see proof. In particular, we’d like to see Burcon’s direct and indirect GHG emissions, energy use by source, and the amount of emissions saved by their products and operations. These metrics should be reported in an annual sustainability report.

Set Clear Emissions Reduction Targets

The next step would be to set science-based targets for reducing emissions and for improving energy efficiency within a precise timetable. These targets, too, should be included in their annual sustainability report.

Related Plant-Based Diet Stocks in the Climate Index

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Allocated Company Description


Oatly Group AB (OTLY)

Oatley makes alternatives to dairy products from oats like milk, frozen desserts, and yogurt. Plant-based food can greatly cut emissions from agriculture


Beyond Meat (BYND)

Beyond Meat makes burgers, sausages, beef, and meatballs from plant-based sources. Plant-based diet can massively cut emissions from agriculture


The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (HAIN)

HAIN sells meat alternative and plant-based food made from soy, rice, oats, almonds and coconut. Plant-based food is a key Drawdown solution


SunOpta Inc. (STKL)

SunOpta makes plant-based and fruit-based food and beverage products. Plant-based diet can cut emissions from agriculture


Burcon NutraScience Corp. (BRCN)

BRCN makes plant proteins and ingredients that go into food and beverage products. Plant-based food can massively cut emissions from agriculture


Laird Superfood, Inc. (LSF)

Laird Superfood makes plant-based and functional foods for optimal well-being and high-performance. Plant-based diet is a key Drawdown solution


MeaTech 3D Ltd. (MITC)

MeaTech makes lab-grown meat that’s 3D printed using stem cells. Their process doesn’t harm animals. Meat-free diet can massively cut agriculture emissions

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