Canadian beef industry on track to achieve its 2030 emissions reduction target

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

Compared to 2014, a kilogram of beef in Canada is now produced with 15 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

According to the National Beef Sustainability Assessment (NBSA) and Strategy report, the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (CRSB) says this latest assessment reflects three years of scientific analysis to make the determination, comapring 2014 to 2021.

The assessment looked at several sustainability indicators, including greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity, carbon storage, people’s health and safety, animal care, economic contributions and more. The report also includes accompanying sustainability strategies that identify areas for continuous improvement, says CRSB.

The 15 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to produce 1 kg of beef (boneless and consumed) is largely attributed to increased efficiencies of cattle growth, leading to a smaller overall carbon footprint as fewer resources (e.g. land, water and feed) are required to produce the same volume of beef.

“It’s exciting to see the 15 per cent reduction in GHG emissions intensity, which puts us on track to achieve the 33 per cent reduction 2030 goal that the industry has set,” says Ryan Beierbach, chair of the CRSB and Saskatchewan beef producer.

The report also shows that land used for beef cattle production is estimated to store 1.9 billion tonnes of soil organic carbon. This is equivalent to annual CO2 emissions from over two billion cars (~58 cars for every Canadian).

A peer-reviewed scientific paper highlighting the Environmental Life Cycle Assessment results has been published in the Canadian Journal of Animal Science.

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