Special Report

20 Corporations Behind the Most Ocean Pollution

Meat and Dairy Corporations

Source: John Moore / Getty Images

JBS

The Brazilian multinational company is both the world’s largest meat processor and the biggest single emitter of greenhouse gases in the global food industry, according to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the international nonprofit GRAIN. The seller of meat, chicken, and pork products is responsible for more GHG emissions than the other top three leading meat and dairy companies combined. Carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas, makes ocean water more acidic, which then causes great harm to marine ecosystems.

Source: Corey Coyle / Wikimedia Commons

Tyson Foods

Arkansas-based Tyson is the second largest meat processor and the second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the global food industry, making it, according to the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, one of the largest single sources of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet, when the energy used to produce animal feed and the agricultural chemicals used to grow it are considered. The primary greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, makes seawater more acidic and harmful to ecosystems.

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Cargill

The Minnesota-based, privately held conglomerate is heavily involved in the production of livestock and grains for livestock nutrition. Cargill’s operations are not limited to meat and poultry as the company’s diverse businesses include agriculture products, food and beverages, beauty products and more. The company ranks as the third biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the global livestock industry, according to a report last year by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the international nonprofit GRAIN.

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Dairy Farmers of America

The Kansas-based milk marketing cooperative is the fourth biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the meat and dairy industry if its livestock feed and agrochemicals operations are included. Much of the carbon dioxide from meat and dairy production winds up in the oceans, which makes them more acidic and harmful to sea life.

Source: Martin Hunter / Getty Images

Fonterra

New Zealand commands an enormous share of the market in global whole milk powder, and much of that is under the control of Fonterra. The company is the fifth largest source of GHG emissions when the energy used to produce feedstock is included.