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Carbon Neutral: treading lightly




Many businesses are becoming increasingly aware of their carbon footprint and are looking for ways to monitor and record their environmental footprint as they move towards a more sustainable business model.

At Catalyst Ltd we have extensive experience in carrying out and reporting environmental footprinting.

What types of environmental footprinting do we perform?

  • Organisation Footprints, where annual operational inputs and outputs are converted to an environmental impact, typically greenhouse gas emissions (aka carbon footprint),
  • Product Footprints where the inputs and outputs of a product over its life cycle are converted to one or more environmental impacts such as carbon, water, toxicity.


Case study - Landcorp

We recently worked with New Zealand’s largest farmer, Landcorp, which has an ambitious goal of being carbon neutral by 2025 on all land it owns.

It believes that environmentally sound farming practices can create profitable farms. Landcorp’s current carbon footprint is subject to measurement, including emissions offset from the company’s 500 hectares of forestry.

Using well recorded data on livestock numbers and farm inputs including fuel, electricity, fertiliser and purchased feeds, Catalyst Ltd was able to model and analyse Landcorp’s farming systems to determine the annual greenhouse gas emissions of all 133 of their farms.

Forestry operations were modelled and annual carbon removals, present and future, were calculated. With this information Landcorp was able to see the size of its current carbon footprint and to forecast increases and/or decreases year-on-year for different future scenarios. From here targets and strategies were set.

A lower carbon future

As KPMG’s Global Head of Agribusiness, Ian Proudfoot noted the Paris climate accord (COP21), reached by 195 governments at the end of last year, will accelerate the journey towards a lower carbon future.

Proudfoot applauded Landcorp for its approach to its carbon footprint. “The future for New Zealand's primary sector has got to be aligned to that articulated by Landcorp in response to the COP21 accord; just as Landcorp has laudably done, the industry needs to make a broader commitment to supplying carbon neutral products over the next decade,” he wrote.

“This can be achieved by combining production innovation, smart use of forestry and consumer products that are designed to be sustainable throughout their value chain (including the post-consumer impacts of the product).”

Proudfoot suggested that ‘carbon neutral’ could become an integral element of the story underlying our naturally produced, safe and disease free premium food, beverage, fibre and timber products.

 

If you would like to know more about environmental footprinting or carbon accounting please contact Wymond wymond.symes@catalystnz.co.nz.

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