Soy Goals Working with U.N. Goals

As part of U.S. soy’s role as a leader in global sustainable agriculture practices, USSEC led a global stakeholder engagement process in early 2020 to prioritize economic, social and environmental aspects for ensuring future global success of U.S. sustainable soy. These priorities were then mapped to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or “Global Goals,” which outline 17 challenges including zero hunger, good health and well-being, clean water and sanitation, climate action, clean energy, land protection, and more.


This assessment set a benchmark for the sustainability of U.S. soy:
  • The soy industry assessment consisted of 63 interviews with representatives from across the global value chain for U.S. soy, including representatives from USSEC, ASA, government, academia, international buyers and market influencers, industry associations and more.
  • Understanding how the soy community’s current and future sustainability programs map to international goals is a logical way to recognize which sustainable goals U.S. soy can impact now and in the future.
  • This mapping exercise evaluates both the opportunities and risks that come with implementing change.
  • The assessment process sets the foundation so the industry can then lead and implement actionable steps that prioritize where U.S. soy can make the biggest difference toward the ultimate goals.
  • Through this stakeholder prioritization process and an assessment of current projects across the soy checkoff, USSEC and ASA, the top sustainable development goal where U.S. soy can have the greatest impact was identified and prioritized.
  • That goal is the UN’s SDG No. 2 — zero hunger. Section 2.4 of this goal states what U.S. soy growers continue to pursue: “By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters, and that progressively improve land and soil quality.”
  • Overall, it was found that U.S. soy influences all of the U.N. SDGs in some way, yet the mapping project prioritized where U.S. soy can have the greatest impact. Five other SDGs were identified as contributing to SDG No. 2. They address water, soil health, responsible production and consumption, climate action and use of partnerships for solutions at scale.

The sustainable development goal mapping project serves as a guide for targeted goal setting, project funding and cross-functional partnerships. It allows U.S. soy to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability and integrate these global objectives into current and future project work.

Set for 2030, the SDGs support the world’s growing population needs through actions of business, industry, governments and others. Soy can be a key part of these solutions.