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GRSB launches Beef Carbon Footprint Guideline

Debibishop/iStock/Getty Images beef cattle cow-calf pair in grass
Guideline established to encourage sector-wide consistency in calculation of carbon footprint of beef cattle.

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

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

Together, GRSB and its members noticed that across the sector, businesses, and organizations globally 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.

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
  • Complement the dairy sector’s LCA work, 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,” said Ruaraidh Petre, executive director of the GRSB. “However, the global beef carbon footprint has, to date, been challenging to effectively track and report.”

He continued, “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 Guideline can be accessed here.

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