Monsanto and Prevalent Sustainability Frameworks Case Study

The Challenge

Companies are able to choose from a variety of frameworks that have been developed by researchers to help plan and execute corporate responsibility initiatives. The Planetary Boundaries, Science-Base Targets, and Future Fit Economy are the most renowned frameworks among the sustainability community. Planetary Boundaries is a relatively new framework designed to define a safe operating space for humanity, and, many argue, is a precondition for sustainable development. Another well-known framework is Science-Base Targets, which enable companies to set ambitious and meaningful corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets to keep the global temperature increase below 2ºC. The last framework is Future Fit Economy, which creates a net positive business model where operations produce zero negative externalities.

As Monsanto embeds transparency and other sustainability measures into its business operations, the company wanted to know if the three frameworks discussed above were applicable models for Monsanto’s sustainability strategy. More specifically, Monsanto wanted to know if the company should apply these frameworks to its sustainability strategy, which would lay the foundation for its overall business strategy in the future.

“We were becoming more aware of current sustainability frameworks that are becoming prevalent in the industry, such as the Planetary Boundaries, Science-Base Targets, and Future Fit Economy. Thus, Monsanto wanted to gain a deeper understanding of these models in order to determine whether or not they could be incorporated into our corporate sustainability strategy. Knowing B.Accountability’s strong background and range of knowledge on corporate sustainability topics, I engaged them to provide us with briefing documents on the three frameworks. B.Accountability conducted their research using the most up to date and respected resources, then helped us answer questions that allowed us to strategize and set Monsanto’s broader corporate sustainability strategy in motion. B.Accountability’s knowledge of sustainability frameworks was clear in the documents they produced and highly valuable to us. I was also impressed by the in-depth analysis and application of the frameworks to Monsanto’s specific business case. I would definitely use B.Accountability for any future corporate responsibility needs.”

Tami Craig Schilling
Global Business Sustainability Lead, Monsanto


The B.Accountability team assessed the degree to which the frameworks in question could be useful to Monsanto. The team provided Monsanto with a well-researched and high-level report on the three frameworks in order for the company to consider the following:

  • What current business operations and sustainability initiatives are helping Monsanto’s effort to stay within the Planetary Boundaries,
  • Which Planetary Boundaries, Future Fit KPIs, and principles are relevant to the company,
  • What current value chain issues should Monsanto address if it were to adopt the Planetary Boundaries,
  • What is the gap between Monsanto’s current performance and Future Fit performance,
  • Which of Monsanto’s competitors and industry peers are adopting these frameworks,
  • And, what sustainability initiatives should the company focus on next to stay within the Planetary Boundaries, reach its Science-Base Targets, and become a Future Fit enterprise?


The report provided Monsanto with an in-depth analysis that allowed the company to assess whether to investigate the above frameworks further and potentially apply them to their sustainability strategy. The report also helped the company relate these sustainability frameworks to each other and provided the company with a holistic view of current sustainability trends.