business news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times has a story about how, while it seems logical that "plant-based food companies like the publicly traded Beyond Meat and its privately held competitor, Impossible Foods, would be better for the environment than meat processors like JBS," some environmental advocates are saying that, in the words of George and Ira Gershwin, it ain't necessarily so.

From the Times piece:

"The problem, critics say, is that neither Beyond Meat nor Impossible Foods discloses the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from its operations, supply chains or consumer waste. They also do not disclose the effects of their operations on forests or how much water they use.

"But on its website Beyond Meat claims that consumers who switch from animal to plant-based protein can 'positively affect the planet, the environment, the climate and even ourselves.'  Impossible Foods says that switching to plant-based meats 'can be better than getting solar panels, driving an electric car or avoiding plastic straws' when it comes to reducing your environmental footprint."

KC's View:

The Times notes that "in response to growing investor concerns about the risks of climate change on corporations, the Securities and Exchange Commission is weighing a rule that would force companies to report their emissions, although it remains unclear whether the agency would also have companies account for emissions that came from supply chains and consumer waste."

The SEC should, because transparency about claims - especially these kinds of claims - ought to be a minimum requirement for companies.  Period.  End of story.