90%

Fewer Emissions

are generated from Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burgers compared to 1.4 lbs beef counterparts

46%

Less Energy

is required to produce a Beyond Burger as opposed to conventional beef

118000

Retail and Food Service Outlets

sell Beyond Meat’s plant-based meat products as of March 2021


The Path to Drawdown: Plant-based Diet

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

Transitioning 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 up to 70%, and a vegetarian diet could reduce emissions by 63%. On top of that, 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, and lower-income countries might also adopt them 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 transitions to 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.

About

Beyond Meat (stock ticker: BYND) is a producer of plant-based meat substitutes. The company offers plant-based alternatives to beef, pork and poultry. Headquartered in El Segundo, California, Beyond Meat’s products are available in over 80 countries.

BYND’s Role in Drawdown

Beyond Meat’s products fall under three plant-based product categories (p. 1): beef, pork and poultry. They use their proprietary scientific processes to determine the architecture of the animal-based meat, then assemble plant-derived amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates, trace minerals and water in a way that replicates animal-based meat. 

Using this process, Beyond Meat has created several flagship products: Beyond Burger, (designed to look, cook and taste like a traditional beef burger), Beyond Sausage, Beyond Beef, Beyond Meatballs, Beyond Breakfast Sausage Patties, etc. 

The company has seen a meteoric rise in recent years, with revenue growing by 90.6% since 2016. As of the end of 2020, their products were available in ~34,000 retail outlets (p. 8) internationally, with retail customers including Costco, Whole Foods and Walmart.

BYND: What We Like

Compared to most other food companies, Beyond Meat is investing heavily in their R&D to improve their products and make plant-based meat alternatives attractive to a broader customer base:

They recently completed the construction of a 30,000 sq. ft innovation center in El Segundo, CA, which employs nearly 100 scientists, engineers, and food experts to emulate animal-based meat

BYND: What We Want to See Improve

Report GHG Emissions


We are excited by Beyond Meat’s claim that their burgers emit 90% fewer GHG emissions than the lifecycle of beef patties. But we need to see Beyond Meat’s direct and indirect emissions accurately tracked and reported in a methodologically rigorous way. We urge them to publish an annual sustainability report and include in it their scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

Set Science-Based Emissions Reduction Targets


Once emissions are reported, we want Beyond Meat to set clear, quantitative targets for reducing their emissions that are science-based to adhere to the goal of staying below 1.5°C of global warming.

Work with Environmentally-Friendly Banks


In April 2020, Beyond Meat entered into a $150 million five-year credit agreement with JP Morgan Chase Bank (p. 112), a major funder of fossil fuel companies. We call on Beyond Meat’s executives to consider working with banks that refuse to finance the fossil fuel industry on principle for their loans in the future.

Other Plant-based diet Stocks in the Climate Index

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