Pet Food Sustainability

Pet Food Sustainability Statement 

U.S. pet food makers are committed to a safe and clean environment in which people and pets can live healthy lives. PFI members recognize their role in supporting three essential pillars of sustainability: 

Three essential pillars of sustainability: our planet, our people & pets, our economy


PFI members reduce the environmental impact of their operations and protect our existing natural resources, such as energy and water, through continuous innovations and enhancements in the production of pet food. Key areas of innovation include renewable energy and energy efficiencies in manufacturing facilities, sustainable ingredient sourcing and responsible packaging. 

PFI members recognize that manufacturing facilities, distribution networks and product packaging utilize critical natural resources and have an impact on our environment. Pet food manufacturers work in three key areas to reduce this impact and protect our planet:

Renewable Energy Sourcing and Energy Efficiency 

  • PFI members recognize that manufacturing and shipping pet food to their customers requires high energy demand. Sourcing renewable energy and utilizing energy efficient processes are important positive steps toward mitigating of the impact of climate change.  
  • Pet food makers protect existing resources by continuously improving the manufacturing process and using creative solutions in facility design to ensure energy-efficiency and sustainable practices.  
  • PFI members optimize energy efficiency in manufacturing and distribution, including energy and water, by sourcing renewable energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste to landfills. 

Ingredients and Supply Chain 

  • We all want healthy, nutritious and safe food for our dogs and cats. PFI members responsibly and sustainably source ingredients from a wide range of nutritious sources. These ingredients include high quality plant- and animal-based ingredients that reduce food waste in the human supply chain as well as environmental stressors related to agriculture.  
  • Using these safe, high-quality ingredients is a sustainable practice that helps reduce the environmental impact of human food systems while ensuring pets receive exceptional nutrition.  
  • These ingredients come from parts of animals and plants that may not be used in human diets; however, they provide excellent nutrition and flavor for dogs and cats. 
  • PFI members provide funding to sustainability organizations and suppliers to help scale regenerative practices on farms in the U.S. which leads to healthier soil and carbon sequestration. 
  • To support the responsible sourcing of ingredients, PFI members pursue certifications, such as the Marine Stewardship Council “blue fish label.”


Packaging is important in providing important ingredient and nutritional information for pet owners, while ensuring pet food is protected to keep it safe and retain its nutritional quality as it makes its way from manufacturers, to retailers, to homes. Packaging makes up a substantial portion of waste produced by the pet food industry and is typically passed onto the consumer for disposal. Minimizing waste is key to having a positive environmental impact, and PFI members are taking action to ensure pet food packaging is sustainable and  minimizes future waste. 

  • With multiple recycling methods available, including in-store return and curbside methods, PFI members understand that creating recyclable packaging and innovating current technologies is crucial to packaging waste minimization. 
  • PFI members utilize responsible packaging that is recyclable, compostable and reusable for both consumers and manufacturing facilities, thereby reducing packaging waste.  

Pets and People
PFI members recognize the positive impact their business has, from providing safe and nutritious food to pets, to setting standards for sustainability, to supporting the people behind the manufacturing of pet food. These businesses would not be the same without the support of their employees, pet owners and communities. PFI members work on multiple fronts to give back to the communities, people and pets that make our industry thrive. From community volunteering, to pet food donations, to vital pet health research, to interactive digital communities, pet food makers strive to improve the lives of people and pets in communities across the nation. 

PFI members recognize the benefits of the human-animal bond and that our communities are made of people who are passionate about their pets. PFI members work every day to create healthier, stronger communities for pets, pet owners and the people behind the manufacturing of pet food. PFI members positively impact their communities nationwide by: 

 Supporting the Human-Animal Bond 

  • Providing grants and donating dog and cat food to shelters and rescue organizations. 
  • Volunteering in and providing financial assistance to communities impacted by disasters. 
  • Partnering with non-profit organizations to support pet adoption events.  
  • Building digital communities for pet owners through social media to foster friendships and share news and educational resources from the industry.  

 Advancing Science and Knowledge Exchange 

  • Gathering and sharing information through work on pet cancer, pet health and nutrition, human-animal bond and feeding innovation research and publishing the results.  
  • Funding research to find nutritional solutions for dog and cat illnesses and collaborating with veterinary partners to improve pet health. 
  • Sharing information with veterinarians, pet owners and others who care for animals to help them ensure pet companions live long, healthy lives.  

 Protecting the Health and Safety of Employees  

  • Ensuring the social impact on pet food employees goes beyond good paying jobs by providing work environments that are safe, where work is not forced and there are fair labor standards. 
  • Building a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce, which helps build a resilient industry. 

PFI members directly employ nearly 30,000 people in 33 states, support related suppliers across the nation and engage in community programs – all helping to support a thriving economic landscape for generations to come.  A thriving, profitable business that invests in the future is a crucial part of any sustainability effort. PFI members are an essential part of the local economy, with a global reach. Their role involves more than making safe, nutritious pet food – it means good-paying jobs that support families, communities and the nation.  

 Economic Impact 

  • As U.S. pet food and treat sales passed $50 billion in 2021, PFI member companies are integral to the health of local economies, directly employing nearly 30,000 people in 33 states across the country.  
  • Beyond manufacturing, pet food makers also support additional jobs and put nearly $7 billion into the U.S. agriculture supply chain, including farming and ranching, processing, transportation and technology services, equipment suppliers and retailers. 
  • Pet food exports reached over $2 billion in 2021, with Canada, Mexico and China as the largest markets. 


Learn More about the Economic Contribution of Pet Food