Air and Greenhouse Gases

Indicator Definition

The cumulative emissions of pollutants, including particulate matter, greenhouse gases and other gaseous emissions from a sector for each process.

Why is this indicator important to the packer and processor sector?

Shifts in worldwide climate have the potential to impact global food production and sacrifice regional food security. Many of our modern technology adaptations and management practices help to lower the resource consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from beef processing.

Metrics

Level 1 – Are strategies in place to optimize energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emission?

Level 2 – What is your company’s CO2e/head or CO2e/mass of finished product?

Level 3 – Does your company make CO2e public, track greenhouse gas and air emissions over time, set goals for continuous improvement, and participate in partnerships, initiatives or programs to further greenhouse gas reduction and improve air quality?

Why did we choose these metrics?

Packers and processors have tremendous opportunity to focus on what they can directly control—environmental performance within their plant walls. Improving energy efficiency is one of the easier and most cost-effective ways to combat climate change and improve the competitiveness of the packer or processing business. Through evaluation and improvement on environmental performance, packers and processors can continue to reduce emissions within their sector and increase awareness of the risk climate change has on agriculture, farmer livelihoods, and the ability to produce safe, wholesome food for years to come.

Desired Outcomes

Packers and processors that track progress with the air and GHG emissions metrics can have positive impacts that include:

  • Improved air quality with a focus on impacts on the local community, human health and the environment
  • Development of a greater understanding of emission sources and opportunities for emission reductions
  • Reduction of packer/processor air and GHG emissions impact on the climate
  • Development of better collaboration along the value chain on GHG emission reduction strategies

Why do these outcomes matter?

Packers and processors can continue to reduce emissions within their sector and increase awareness of the risk climate change has on agriculture, farmer livelihoods, and the ability to produce safe, wholesome food for years to come.

Success Criteria

1.   Increased number of facilities who have strategies in place to optimize energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions

2.   Increased number of facilities who measure CO2e per head or CO2e per mass of finished product

3.   Increased number of companies and facilities that are publicly reporting CO2e, tracking GHG and air emissions, setting targets to reduce GHG and air emissions and increase engagement and collaborating along the value chain

How does this metric continuously improve beef sustainability?

By focusing on reducing GHG emission, packers and processors have the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas intensity, improve energy efficiency, and increase the use of renewable energy as a way to reduce the impact of the plant on climate change.

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