McCain Foods Commitment will Help Limit Global Warming to 1.5°C

11 June 2021

McCain Foods Commitment will Help Limit Global Warming to 1.5°C

Toronto, ON (June 11, 2021) – McCain Foods’ commitment to cut in half greenhouse gas emissions across all of its global operations by the end of the decade has been verified to align with efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Consistent with its Global Sustainability Strategy and pledge to produce planet-friendly food, McCain Foods made the commitment with the release of its first sustainability report last year. With the launch of the McCain Foods 2020 Global Sustainability Report Summary this week, it has announced that its emission reduction plan and targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative, aligning them with current climate science and the ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement to keep global warming to 1.5°C.

McCain is the only food and beverage company in Canada — and one of only 33 in the world — to be verified by Science Based Targets with a commitment to reduce its emissions to this extent.

“By having our targets validated as science-based, McCain is ensuring our actions will make a meaningful contribution to global efforts to tackle climate change,” says Max Koeune, President and Chief Executive Officer of McCain. “When we say we are reducing our carbon emissions by 50 per cent, that is actual decarbonization across our operations. Carbon offsets cannot be used with the Science Based Targets initiative. This is a robust, substantial commitment to move towards carbon neutrality.”

McCain’s 2020 Global Sustainability Report Summary, Together, Towards Planet-Friendly Food, highlights a series of commitments and initiatives that will help the company reach its emissions targets.

The company’s commitment to implement regenerative agricultural practices across 100 per cent of its potato acreage will help cut its emissions related to farming by 25 per cent. Another key initiative is the solar farm and biogas digester McCain is building at its production facility in Ballarat, Australia. Set to be fully operational next year, it will yield a 39 per cent reduction in energy from the grid, and reduce carbon emissions by 27,000 tonnes a year.

Other carbon-reduction initiatives planned or under way include:

  • Moving to 100% renewable electricity by 2030.
  • Building renewable generation capacity at its processing plants.
  • Phasing out use of coal in all operations, including China where the recent phase out reduces McCain’s annual carbon emission by 21,000 tonnes annually.
  • Further reducing reliance on fossil fuels through electrification and alternative fuels.
  • Continuing to drive energy efficiency improvements across its global facilities
  • Ensuring 100% of packaging will be recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

“Our commitment to cut our global emissions in half is what the latest climate science says is needed to prevent the most damaging effects of climate change,” says Mr. Koeune. “It will also help us establish a clearly defined pathway to more sustainable farms and operations.”

The Science Based Targets initiative is an international collaboration that defines and promotes best practices in setting targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions and also independently assesses the targets set by participating companies. It helps companies set emissions reduction targets in line with what the latest climate science says is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement — to limit global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Read Together, Towards Planet-Friendly Food, 2020 Global Sustainability Report Summary at


About McCain Foods (Canada)

McCain Foods (Canada) is the Canadian division of McCain Foods Limited, an international leader in the frozen food industry. McCain Foods is the world's largest manufacturer of frozen potato specialties, and also produces other quality products such as appetizers, vegetables and desserts that can be found in restaurants and retail stores in more than 160 countries around the world. In Canada, the company has eight production facilities with approximately 2,400 employees and, in addition to its famous French fries and potato specialties, makes frozen desserts, snacks and appetizers.


For further information: Michelle Hann, Senior Consultant, Digital and Communications, Enterprise Canada, [email protected], 613-716-2118