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GRSB's new Beef Carbon Footprint Guideline to support consistency global emissions reporting

28 March 2022

The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) Scientific Advisory Council launched the Beef Carbon Footprint Guideline to allow for sector-wide consistency in the calculation of the carbon footprint of beef cattle.

Together, GRSB and its members noticed that across the global sector businesses and organizations were using different methodologies and data to measure their carbon impact – leading to inconsistencies. As such, comparable and consistent measuring across companies, countries and continents was difficult.

GRSB commissioned the development of this document to provide relevant and concrete guidance on the calculation of greenhouse gas emissions of beef cattle production with a life cycle perspective. The guideline is focused on a single environmental impact, the emissions of GHG’s and their contribution to climate change from beef cattle production.

The purpose of this guideline is to provide rules to ensure alignment and consistency among studies performed for the quantification of GHG of beef cattle supply chains. This document addresses only a single impact category - climate change and the contribution of the life cycle of beef cattle production to this impact in a cradle-to-gate perspective.

This new Beef Carbon Footprint Guideline has therefore been developed based on UN FAO’s LEAP guidance to:

  • Quantify emissions from cradle to farm gate or cradle to processing gate
  • Allow monitoring of GHG emissions through time for a specific system
  • Identify main drivers for GHG emissions in the beef cattle life cycle
  • Allow comparisons within the context of the same study
  • Compliment the dairy sector’s LCA work which is also based on FAO LEAP guideline

This announcement builds on the established progress by GRSB and its members to ensure a joint global approach to sustainable beef production. Last year, GRSB launched its global sustainability goals – commitments to advance and improve the sustainability of the global beef value chain. The goals focused on three key areas – climate, nature positive and animal health and welfare.

“A key part of GRSB’s mission is to ensure transparency when it comes to evaluating and reporting key sustainability metrics. However, the global beef carbon footprint has, to date, been challenging to effectively track and report,” said Ruaraidh Petre, Executive Director of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. “Launching this new guideline will help to create consistency in the global beef sector. There is growing momentum in the industry to protect and nurture the earth’s natural resources and having a clearer carbon footprint guideline will allow us to do this better than ever before.”

The creation of the guideline was made possible by a number of notable members of the organization, including financial support from McDonald’s Corporation and DSM. Blonk Consultants supported the effort by advising on the methodological approach and developing the guideline.

To access the Guideline, please click here.

 

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