JBS helps create method to calculate farm greenhouse gas emissions

Published:  18 June, 2014

JBS the world’s largest meat product and leather producer has assisted in creating a methodology to measure farm green house emissions in Brazil. The new platform will be able to measure emissions from farming activities such as livestock farming and soybean, corn and sugar cane growing, etc that have an impact on climate change.

It will provide guidelines, new parameters and a specific tool to measure greenhouse gas emissions from the farming industry and will help manage these emissions in every area of farming. Using this methodology, companies will be able to better understand the risks and opportunities linked to farming emissions.

In Brazil, according to the National Inventory of Greenhouse Gases, farming is responsible for 35% of all emissions. Because farming represents such a large proportion of emissions, in addition to which existing emission factors used during international assessments were developed for conditions in countries with temperate climates, a specific methodology was needed for the Brazilian farming industry. "Greenhouse gas emission factors currently used in Brazil for emissions inventories and even for product Lifecycle Analysis processes are based on an international model, which is standardised for all countries and do not specifically reflect what occurs during farming in the southern hemisphere, in a tropical climate", said JBS Sustainability Director, Márcio Nappo. The JBS director also said that "from now on, with the GHG Farming Protocol, we will have more accurate figures that better reflect farming in Brazil. This is very important at JBS, because the company has a vast range of cattle suppliers in different Brazilian biomes".

The GHG Farming Protocol was developed by the NGO Word Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), supported by a number of major industry companies. The new methodology is the result of two years work with the Brazilian Agricultural and Livestock Research Company (Embrapa) and the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), among other partners.

The GHG Farming Protocol brings two important innovations. The first is the possibility of farmers self-assessing and reporting their emissions annually based on their production calendar, selecting a 12-month period that must not coincide with the January to December tax year.  The second innovation is the changes made to the emissions factors and parameters, which will be aligned with Brazilian circumstances, taking into account Brazil's various biomes and variations between farms, including the type of management practices used, fertilizing and pasture conditions for livestock farming.

JBS, a global leader in animal protein production, has been actively involved in the process of creating this new methodology through its Technical Group, presenting cases on the company's business model and its relationships with raw material – suppliers, as well as the Pilot Group, as part of efforts to ensure that the new guidelines are coherent and relevant.

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