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PSC’s Blueprint for Sustainable Animal Protein Sourcing

The pet food industry often flies under the radar when it comes to discussions about sustainability. However, it plays a pivotal role in the global food system, with a significant impact on both the environment and society. The industry’s influence stretches far and wide, from the sources of its ingredients to the sustainability practices it promotes.

This is why we’ve created an extensive Blueprint to Responsibly Sourcing Animal Proteins for the Pet Food Industry with all the risks, challenges, and information you need to make decisions regarding proteins in your pet food products.

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Understanding the Challenges

Before diving into the Blueprint, it’s essential to grasp the broader issues at play within the global food system. The drive to produce cheap, abundant food has led to several significant problems:

  1. Environmental Impact: The agricultural practices supporting food production contribute to climate change through greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, biodiversity loss, deforestation, water scarcity, and pollution are critical concerns.
  2. Social Impact: The human cost includes poor working conditions, forced and child labor, and insufficient wages for farmers and producers. These social issues are deeply intertwined with the food system.
  3. Animal Welfare: Ethical concerns arise from practices that fail to ensure good animal welfare, which is often compromised in the quest for lower costs and higher yields.

Introducing the PSC Blueprint

The PSC Blueprint is designed to help pet companies address these challenges head-on, regardless of how mature or sustainable their existing sourcing strategy is. It serves as a comprehensive guide in alignment with  the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Science-Based Targets (SBTi), and the European Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS).The Blueprint is structured into five main parts:

  1. Context & Methodology: This section highlights the pet food industry’s potential to drive sustainability within its supply chain. It emphasizes the need for the industry to tackle environmental, social, and animal welfare issues.
  2. Potential Material Impacts and Risks: Here, companies can identify the most significant impacts and risks within their supply chains. This identification process is crucial for prioritizing actions that will have the most substantial positive effect.
  3. Assessing Impacts and Risks: This part provides a framework for evaluating the significance of identified risks. Such assessments ensure that sustainability efforts are focused and effective.
  4. Summary of Potential Material Impacts of Eight Relevant Species: Offering environmental impacts, animal welfare impacts, and considerations for responsible sourcing for farmed beef cattle, deer, broiler chickens, egg-laying hens, lamb, pigs, salmon, and turkey.
  5. Taking Corporate Action: Guidance is given on formalizing responsible sourcing strategies. Companies are encouraged to set clear objectives and targets, engage with stakeholders, and measure their progress. Transparency and accountability are emphasized as key components of successful sustainability initiatives.

Deeper Dive Into Environmental Impacts

The environmental impacts of an average ingredient supply chain have been summarized in the following table. The relative significance is the combination of the likelihood of the impact occurring for a given species in a certain region or production system and the severity of the impact, including its scale, scope, and irremediable character.

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