About “Beyond the Rows”

Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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Monsanto’s Sustainability Journey

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Over the next four decades, food production will need to increase, enabling us to combat hunger, malnutrition and meet the needs of changing diets and a growing population. Monsanto’s people remain committed to investing in agricultural systems that can sustainably support the demands of our growing planet—on the farm or at home.

8 Megatrends Shaping Agriculture Today:

  • Global Food Security
  • Increasing World Population
  • Increasing Protein Demand
  • Ecosystem Impacts from Climate Change
  • Biofuel Demand
  • Demand for Healthier Diets
  • Water Availability & Quality
  • Resource Conservation

Farmers Will Need to Sustainably Intensify Production to Meet Demand

Looking ahead, our challenge—one shared by many companies, governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—must be to translate the discussion around these challenges into action.

We know that no single company or organization can meet these challenges alone. Collaboration among stakeholders in the public and private sectors, across virtually every sector of the value chain is vitally important. Our people are committed to continue and accelerate our participation in stakeholder dialogue and supporting initiatives that are focused on increasing agricultural productivity, managing and reducing the environmental impact of agriculture, and improving the economic success of farmers and their families in all parts of the world.

Our people are making progress in our sustainability journey, engaging with many stakeholders and working in partnership with organizations around the world.

Our Ongoing Journey

In 2008, after an 18-month engagement with internal and external stakeholders, we declared our ongoing commitment to sustainable agriculture.  Our people believe that if all farmers have access to appropriate tools and information, they can Produce More, Conserve More and Improve Lives. This is the foundation of our commitment to improving lives through agriculture. And we are tracking the progress. Farmers around the world, whether they are smallholder or large production operations, have a great story to tell – they are working toward growing more with fewer resources per unit of production. This timeline chronicles the increased focus on our sustainability commitments, focusing on products, partnerships and people.


SustainabilityTimeline Graphic

Monsanto’s Approach: A System of Solutions to Promote Sustainable Agriculture

Breeding: Using highest yielding genetics for target environment

Biotechnology: Protecting genetic potential to enhance yield

Agronomics: Optimizing farm management practices


Source: GM Crops: Global Socio-Economic and Environmental Impacts 1996-2011,
For Additional Information, please visit: http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/Pages/biotech-safety-gmo-advantages.aspx

Progress on Our Commitment to Sustainable Agriculture

In 2011, we began to report in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a voluntary sustainability reporting framework that helps companies measure and report their sustainability performance. GRI demonstrates a company’s ability to report on the impacts and progress in its operations across a range of sustainability indicators — economic, environmental, social, and governance performance. GRI reporting provides a framework to continually improve our performance, while demonstrating transparency to our stakeholders.

Our teams are excited to use this report to share many of our achievements and challenges over the last year, which include improved operational footprint data for our seed locations and a focused approach on our supply chain. In addition, we enhanced our approach to stakeholder engagement and conducted a formal materiality assessment of the issues that matter most to society and our business to help inform our sustainability strategy.

We understand that sustainability is a journey, and we will continue to learn and improve. Dialogues with our stakeholders help us pinpoint the areas that require further attention in our business or potential areas where we can collaborate to scale or escalate our positive impacts… or execute on our commitments. We will aim to continue to improve our transparent reporting and to have data verified.

This article is an excerpt from Monsanto’s 2012 Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Report. To see the whole report, please visit Monsanto.com

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