Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 

NZ beef carbon footprint study highlights gains

Media Release

31 August 2012

NZ beef carbon footprint study highlights productivity gains

The New Zealand beef industry has completed a study1 examining the full carbon footprint of New Zealand beef, and it highlights significant productivity gains.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand General Manager Market Access, Ben O’Brien says the study was driven by the industry’s sustainability focus and the dual challenges posed by an increasing global population and pressure on the planet’s limited resources.

“We see this study as making a valuable contribution to the global livestock production story and we will be contributing the results of this study to the FAO work programme on environmental performance of livestock food chains.”

O’Brien said the New Zealand sheep and beef industry had made enormous progress in reducing its emissions during the last 20 years, mainly by producing more meat from less pasture.

“Less pasture consumed means less emissions. Compared to 1990, New Zealand sheep and beef farms now produce slightly more meat by weight, but from fewer animals.”

Researchers estimate that this productivity improvement has reduced the carbon footprint of New Zealand beef and lamb by about 17% over that period, he said.

The study was funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, the Meat Industry Association, Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Landcorp, and the Ministry for Primary Industries greenhouse gas footprinting strategy. Much of the data for analysis was supplied by Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

The study has created a benchmark for understanding where greenhouse gas emissions are occurring across the supply chain, including production, processing, transportation and consumption, says O’Brien.

“Differences in the footprint are largely related to the value of the types of cuts that are exported to different markets and the method of allocating emissions on an economic basis.

“As has been reported in a number of other beef carbon footprint studies the majority (over 90%) of emissions occur on the farm.”

O’Brien says the footprint varies depending on the type of farm ( 7.2 to 14.3 kg CO2e per kg live-weight), the sex and age of animals (7.3kg young bull to 16.0kg breeding cows), and whether or not calves from the dairy industry are used. Overall the weighted New Zealand average GHG emissions from beef animals from sheep & beef farms2 was 10.5 kg CO2e per kg live-weight.

The emissions arising from transport to market are extremely low. Oceanic shipping is very efficient and this study shows it contributes just 1.1 - 2.7% of the total carbon footprint.

Dr Stewart Ledgard, the lead author of the report, said that until there was a globally-agreed methodology for ‘footprinting’, it was hard to assess how New Zealand’s footprint compares to others.

“We’re not aware of overseas studies with a comparable scope or level of detail in the methodology”3.

The New Zealand pastoral industry has also invested in strategic, large-scale research aimed mostly at livestock emissions through the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium, the Global Research Alliance and the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre.

A Greenhouse Gas Footprint Study for Exported New Zealand Beef (PDF, 400kb)

________________________________________
1 A Greenhouse Gas Footprint Study for Exported New Zealand Beef by M. Lieffering, S.F. Ledgard, M. Boyes and R. Kemp.
2 In New Zealand most farms that farm cattle also farm sheep and vice versa.
3 For this study, AgResearch used the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach which is consistent with the PAS2050 published standard for greenhouse gas footprinting. On-farm emissions analysis undertaken for this study is consistent with New Zealand’s GHG accounting methodology as submitted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and is based on the average New Zealand sheep and beef farm.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Auckland Transport: Successful Bridge Repair Opens Two Additional Lanes To Traffic

The opening of two additional lanes on the Auckland Harbour Bridge this morning will help relieve some motorway congestion for motorists heading home to the North Shore tonight. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics New Zealand: COVID-19 Sees Record 12.2 Percent Fall In New Zealand’s Economy

Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 12.2 percent in the June 2020 quarter, the largest quarterly fall recorded since the current series began in 1987, as the COVID-19 restrictions in place through the quarter impacted economic activity, Stats NZ said ... More>>

ALSO:

Climate: Scientists Release ‘Blueprint’ To Save Critical Ecosystems And Stabilize The Earth’s Climate

A group of scientists and experts produced the first comprehensive global-scale analysis of terrestrial areas essential for biodiversity and climate resilience, totaling 50.4% of the Earth's land. The report was published in Science Advances ... More>>

ALSO:

MPI: Independent Review Launched Into Assurances For Safe Transport Of Livestock By Sea

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has launched an independent review of the assurances it receives for the safe transport of livestock by sea. MPI Director-General Ray Smith says Mike Heron QC has been appointed to lead the review, which is expected ... More>>

ALSO:


Computers: New Zealand PC Market Grows Nearly 40% Due To Work From Home Demand

COVID-19 had large impacts on demand for PCs as businesses prepared for lockdowns by purchasing notebooks to mobilise their workforce. In the second quarter of 2020, New Zealand's Traditional PC market experienced a 39.7% year-on-year (YoY) growth ... More>>

ALSO:


University Of Auckland: Whale-Watching By Satellite – Follow Their Travels Online

Scientists have successfully attached satellite tracking tags to six New Zealand southern right whales, or tohorā, and are inviting the public to follow the whales’ travels online. Part of a major research project involving the University of Auckland ... More>>

Commerce Commission: Kiwibank Admits System Failures And Agrees To Pay Customers $5.2 Million

Kiwibank has entered into a settlement agreement with the Commerce Commission after reporting that it failed to have in place robust home loan variation disclosure policies, procedures and systems. In a settlement dated 27 August 2020, Kiwibank admitted that ... More>>

Ministry of Health: Public Transport Distancing Requirements Relaxed

Physical distancing requirements on public transport have been reviewed by the Ministry of Health to determine whether they are still required at Alert Level 2 (or below). The Ministry’s assessment is that mandatory face covering and individuals tracking ... More>>

ALSO:

NZHIA: New Zealand Hemp Industry Set To Generate $2 Billion Per Annum And Create 20,000 Jobs

A new report says a fully enabled hemp industry could generate $2 billion in income for New Zealand by 2030, while also creating thousands of new jobs. Written by industry strategist Dr Nick Marsh, the report has prompted calls from the New Zealand Hemp ... More>>

ALSO:

Stats NZ: One In 14 Employed People Report High Risk Of Losing Jobs

About one in 14 workers say they expect to lose their job or business by mid-2021, Stats NZ said today. A survey of employed people in the June 2020 quarter showed 7 percent felt there was a high or almost certain chance of losing their job or business ... More>>

ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast: NZ Economy Doing Better Than Expected, But Challenges Remain

August lockdown estimated to have shaved 8% off NZ’s weekly GDP, and 0.5% off annual GDP Economy now expected to shrink 5% (year-on-year) by end of 2020 Unemployment rate now expected to peak at 7.2% The latest ASB Quarterly Economic Forecast is less ... More>>

ALSO: