Overseeing Monsanto's work are many internal teams who work hard to examine our research and development, products and processes to make certain that we are obeying the law, meeting Monsanto's high stewardship standards, and operating with integrity in accordance with our Pledge values.
Various teams focus on product stewardship from lab to field: financial stewardship to ensure that financial standards are met; environmental, safety and health stewardship to protect the safety of our people, communities and the environment; and societal engagement to consider whether we are doing the right things and doing them right.
We take the stewardship of our products seriously. Product stewardship is the legal, ethical and moral obligation to ensure our products and technologies are safe and environmentally responsible. It is a component of Product Life Cycle Stewardship, which includes product introduction, stewardship of products in the marketplace and effective discontinuation of outdated technology.
We are expanding and integrating our various global product stewardship efforts as we meet the challenge of an increasing number of biotechnology trait and crop protection launches around the world. In 2005, we formed a stewardship operations team and created regional stewardship teams that are adapting our stewardship processes to their local situations.
Over the past two years, we established the requirement for a product stewardship checklist for each new product launch, verifying stewardship milestones are met throughout the product life cycle. Completion of the checklist helps confirm our stewardship processes are followed and documented before launch.
Stewardship is the shared responsibility of Monsanto, our licensees and our grower customers. We want to ensure our products continue to be used properly. By following product life cycle stewardship processes, we stand behind our products from start to finish.
Stewardship of Crop Protection Products
Monsanto places the highest priority on the responsible development, manufacture and use of crop protection products. Our Crop Protection Stewardship is focused on providing growers with sustainable choices that increase productivity as well as promoting the safe and responsible use of existing products (such as glyphosate) consistent with Monsanto’s corporate stewardship standards. We subscribe to international stewardship standards, including the International Code of Conduct on Pesticide Management issued by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and fully supported by CropLife International and its member companies, as well as the International Council of Chemical Association’s Responsible Care Global Charter.
In addition, our crop protection products are regulated by appropriate government agencies in the United States and around the globe.
Monsanto continues to bring creative solutions to modern agriculture. As we do, we follow the principles of Product Stewardship – responsible development, management and use. Monsanto introduced our agricultural biologicals platform with BioDirect™ technology, which uses molecules found in nature that we expect to develop for use in topically applied crop protection and other products. Monsanto also is exploring the use of microbials through the BioAg Alliance, a collaboration with industry leader Novozymes. Microbials can help control crop pests such as fungi, bacteria, nematodes, insects and weeds. They also can stimulate plant growth and yield by improving access to nutrients.
Labels and safety data sheets for Monsanto's crop protection products, as well as other safety and technical information on Monsanto’s products, are available here.
Integrity Guides Our Business Conduct
The Monsanto Business Conduct Program raises employee awareness of the importance of integrity. As our Code of Business Conduct notes, this program was designed not merely to comply with the law, but to make certain that our actions reflect the type of company we want Monsanto to be.
The Business Conduct Program helps guide our employees in doing the right thing. It offers several ways for employees to raise questions or concerns — even anonymously and in various languages. We have procedures for handling these questions fairly, and we receive several hundred each year.
Our Business Conduct Office collaborates with seven regional Business Conduct Working Groups. We also have a best-practices anti-bribery program, and robust, multilingual training programs featuring online modules, in-person presentations, and group discussions of business conduct case studies. Our website includes various handbooks and training materials. We revise and update these materials regularly. Annually, our employees must certify compliance with the code and explain any perceived lapses or violations of the policy.
Through these initiatives, the Business Conduct team helps all Monsanto employees embed integrity in all they do.