Carbon Neutral Ag workshop aligns industry partners

Carbon Neutral Ag workshop aligns industry partners

October 20 2022

SSF Sustainability Steering Group member Ed Dunn (left) and Ian McColl (right) with Chair, Dr Scott Williams (centre) at the workshop.

Members of the SSF Sustainability Steering Group attended Meat & Livestock Australia’s (MLA) two-day intensive workshop on Carbon Neutral Agriculture in Sydney in August, to review the latest information on how carbon accounting and neutrality is defined, where emissions and sinks exist in farming systems, and the options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) of methane and nitrous oxide and sequester more carbon in soils and trees.

The workshop included developing a Carbon Accounting and Farm Audit, and was devised by MLA to bring together producers, advisers, agribusiness service providers and industry and government policy makers to align industry strategies and frameworks in the bid to be carbon neutral in eight years.

“It comes as no surprise that it’s complex and challenging to identify suitable metrics and collect the data in our quest to be carbon neutral, but industry sustainability or Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting is very much in its infancy, and all sectors are still learning how to do it well,” SSF Steering Group Dr Scott Williams said.

“MLA and AWI partnered to complete a sheep meat and wool Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to determine GHGs from Merino and non-Merino sheep from 2005 to 2020, and this will be used to model and predict impacts on net emissions over time,” Dr Williams said.

“The deep insights from the LCA and the sharing of information via the MLA Carbon Neutral Agriculture Workshop stimulates thinking on multiple fronts for our industry, as it grapples with the emission reduction task ahead.”

The SSF also met with members of the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework outside the workshop, to strengthen the relationship between the two and discuss partnering on data-gathering projects, providing consultation on framework matters, and sharing insights and support.

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Contact: Sarah Hyland