How Plant-Based Diets Can Help Our Planet

Food scarcity is probably not a topic you constantly think about. But for many people in certain areas of the world, access to food can be a challenge. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, world food production will need to increase by an estimated 70 percent to feed everyone alive by 2050.

To achieve this, food production will need to double, while overcoming a “perfect storm” of rapid population growth plus the declining per capita availability of land, water, and energy resources.

Plant-Based Proteins: A Sound Alternative

According to U.S. Food and Agriculture Organization, raising livestock for meat, eggs and milk generates 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, the second highest source of emissions and greater than all transportation combined.

Furthermore, the American Society of Clinical Nutrition states that worldwide shortages of cropland, fresh water, and energy resources already require most people to live on a plant-based diet.

Consuming plant-based protein is something that’s already widespread. More people now understand that plant-based diets are not devoid of protein – in fact, plant-based proteins, as opposed to animal protein, are naturally cholesterol-free and they are relatively low in saturated fats. In 2017, the global plant protein market accounted for $10.5 billion dollars, and it is expected to keep growing at an annual rate of 6.6 percent.

From a sustainability standpoint, plant-based proteins – and specially soy – are the smart way to go.

Key Sustainability Benefits of Soy

The environmental advantages of soy-based protein are clear. According to the Life Cycle Screening of Animal and Vegetable derived Protein Sources study by DuPont:

1. Less water usage

Clean water is a scarce resource and the demand has already exceeded availability in many regions with agriculture. Isolated soy protein (ISP) uses much less blue water (38 liters per kg of protein produced) than pork or beef (more than 1,600 liters of water per kg).

Soy Production

2. Efficient land usage

ISP requires 8 m2 of land per kg of protein compared to 1,311 m2 of land for beef.

3. Small carbon footprint

ISP production creates at least seven to 70 times less greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane, than beef (2.4 kg compared to 178 kg) and other animal-based proteins.

4. Sustainable sourcing

Herbalife Nutrition is proud to be a major consumer of soy protein. Our soy is sourced from qualified farmers and suppliers in America’s heartland. Our partners are held to our industry leading standards of quality and integrity. We are proud to partner with farmers like Rob to ensure that the finest ingredients go into our products:

Rising to the Challenge

We live in an era of major challenges. I guess every generation could say the same, but research proves that we are at a critical point on topics such as health and environment.

Food security is a particular subject that combines both issues. As a global nutrition company, we are committed to making a positive contribution.

From research and development to product innovation to permanent improvements on our manufacturing and supply chain, we ensure we are meeting and exceeding changing customer needs, while remaining committed to sustainability.

Within our manufacturing footprint, we have identified and continue to identify ways to reduce carbon emissions while promoting operational efficiencies.

  1. Our technology initiatives have enabled us to produce significantly faster than the industry standard while using less electricity and resources. 
  2. By expanding molding capacity within our plants, we are eliminating 1.3 million kilometers of shipments between manufacturing sites, thus avoiding 1.25 metric tons of CO2 annually. 
  3. We have transitioned from paper to digital rule books in 39 countries, and to date, we have saved 328 US tons of paper, equivalent to 26 acres of carbon-sequestering trees annually. 
  4. We have reduced cardboard and plastic used for shipping in one of our markets, eliminating 12,500 kg of cardboard. 
  5. We have eliminated 5.2 million plastic bags since 2018. 

When it comes to product packaging and distribution, we also made efforts to reduce single-use plastics and plastic bags. These reduce, reuse, recycle initiatives have yielded the following results: 

  1. Plastic Reduction in Formula 1 Canisters: 1,400,000 kg of plastic removal since 2015
  2. Canister Recycling Programs in Sales Centers: 200,000 kg of plastic recycled since 2013 

These efforts illustrate some regional pilot programs with demonstrated results. We intend to expand these programs across additional markets to further drive our global efforts for environmental stewardship.

David Pezzullo, Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff

David PezzulloChief Operating Officer

David Pezzullo has served in a broad range of financial executive and management roles with an emphasis on operational disciplines. Prior to his current role, he served as executive vice president of worldwide operations and oversaw all aspects of developing products including supply chain, research and development, scientific affairs, quality, manufacturing, regulatory, distribution, and logistics.