Air and Greenhouse Gas

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 retail and food service sector?

Significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are created by retail and food service activities. Retailers and food service providers should identify GHG emissions in their own operations, particularly from the main drivers of energy use, water use, coolant leakage, and food waste. Finding cost-effective means to reduce these drivers will reduce GHG emissions and operational costs for the sector.

Metrics

Level 1 − Has the company assessed its Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions? 

Level 2 − Does the company have a plan to reduce its scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions? Has the company assessed the Scope 3 GHG emissions of its beef value chain? Does the company engage suppliers and encourage adoption of USRSB air and GHG metrics in its beef value chain?

Level 3 − Is the company participating in a credible external system reporting for GHG emissions? Has the company set credible GHG emissions targets? Can the company demonstrate progress towards these targets?

Why did we choose these metrics?

Retailers and food service are able to identify GHG emissions in their own operations, particularly from the main drivers which include energy use, water use, coolant leakage, and food waste. Finding cost-effective means to reduce these drivers will reduce GHG emissions and operational costs for the sector. These metrics will provide retail and food service providers with key milestones for measuring progress across the spectrum of continuous improvement.

Desired Outcomes

Companies that develop and maintain plans that address the USRSB metrics have positive impacts on air and GHG emissions sustainability outcomes. The positive impacts include:

  • Increased awareness of GHG emissions
  • Improved industry tools for mitigating emissions
  • Increased transparency and reporting of GHG emissions
  • Increased operations working towards goals to reduce GHG emissions informed by science
  • Documentation of energy and GHG risk in operations

Why do these outcomes matter?

The desired outcomes will help retail and food service providers reduce their GHG emissions, and the metrics will provide the sector with key milestones for measuring progress across the spectrum of continuous improvement.

Success Criteria

1.   Increased number of companies that assess energy and GHG risk

2.   Increased use of a continuous improvement environmental management system

3.   Engaged suppliers and encouraged adoption of U.S. Beef Industry Sustainability Framework metrics in the supply chain

4.   Increased tracking and assessment of progress on GHG or air emissions

How does this metric continuously improve beef sustainability?

Addressing drivers of GHG emissions in operations, particularly the main drivers of energy use, water use, coolant leakage, and food waste, help retailers and food service providers reduce their impact on air emissions and climate change. Finding cost-effective means to reduce these drivers will reduce GHG emissions and operational costs for the sector.

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