The company's 2020 Impact Report details how COVID-19 provoked the largest operational expansion in the startup's 10-year history.
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a new report published today at Web Summit 2020, Impossible Foods is serving up fresh insight on COVID-19’s extraordinary impact on the company’s operations and workforce.
Titled “Turn Back the Clock,” Impossible Foods’ 2020 Impact Report opens with an intimate retrospective on how the top environmental startup concurrently coped with COVID, the climate crisis and the social justice movement. Amid unprecedented challenges, Impossible Foods’ retail footprint increased nearly 100X in 2020 alone -- by far the biggest operational expansion in the company’s 10-year history.
Impossible Foods’ scientists’ best known achievement to date, Impossible Burger, tastes like beef and is hailed as a triumph of food engineering -- the result of nearly a decade of basic science and hard-core research and development in the company’s headquarters in California’s Silicon Valley. (These Texas ranchers can’t tell the difference between Impossible Burger and ground beef from cows; a beef lobbyist called it the “real deal” and a “wake-up call” for the livestock sector.)
Few companies’ annual sustainability tomes generate buzz -- but Impossible Foods’ 2019 report prompted bellows from the livestock sector. Following suit, the 2020 update opens with a manifesto from CEO and Founder Dr. Patrick O. Brown on how to reverse global warming and halt the planet’s extinction crisis.
The Stanford University Professor Emeritus calls the elimination of livestock the “magic wand” to solve the climate and extinction crises -- and mitigate our public health emergency.
“What if you could wave a magic wand and make the animal-based food industry disappear? We could turn back the clock on global warming, reverse the global collapse of biodiversity and halt species extinction, deforestation, water pollution and our public health crisis,” Brown asks. “Our planet needs that magic wand. So Impossible Foods is inventing it -- a new technology platform for transforming plants into delicious, nutritious, affordable meat, fish and dairy foods, replacing the old animal-based technology in the global food system.”
Best of the wurst
In addition to skyrocketing retail growth of Impossible Burger, 2020 marked the debut of Impossible Foods’ first products in an all-new category: Impossible™ Pork Made from Plants and Impossible™ Sausage Made from Plants. TIME named Impossible Pork one of the best inventions of 2020.
Impossible Sausage is now available in more than 15,000 US and Asian restaurants, making it Impossible Foods’ most successful product rollout.
The 2020 Impact Report provides a first look at the first Life Cycle Assessment for Impossible Sausage, which requires vastly less natural resources and greenhouse gases than sausage made from swine. Compared to its animal counterpart, Impossible Sausage:
- Generates 71% less greenhouse gases
- Requires 41% less land area in a year
- Has a 79% lower water footprint
- Generates 57% less aquatic eutrophication
Authored by third party experts, the study is available in full on Impossible Foods’ website.
“The greatest problems facing humanity are rapidly progressing global warming and a catastrophic global collapse of biodiversity. Replacing the use of animals as a food-production technology is by far the most impactful solution to both -- and the most feasible,” Brown said. “So that’s what Impossible Foods is doing, and we’re well on the way. Impossible Burger is rapidly displacing animal-based foods, and we are confident that Impossible Sausage can address the environmental impact of pigs, the world’s most widely consumed animal.”
About Impossible Foods:Based in California’s Silicon Valley, Impossible Foods makes delicious, nutritious meat and dairy products from plants — with a much smaller environmental footprint than meat from animals. The privately held food tech startup was founded in 2011 by Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at Stanford University and a former Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Investors include Mirae Asset Global Investments, Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Temasek, Sailing Capital, and Open Philanthropy Project. Impossible Foods was Inc. Magazine’s company of the year and one of Time’s 50 Genius companies.