Environmental sustainability

From paddocks to processing, the Australian red meat industry cares for its environment.

The reality is thriving, sustainable environments and ecosystems are essential for the industry’s livelihood – without them, there is no industry.

But let’s get real.

The red meat industry knows things aren’t perfect.

Like all industries, the red meat industry knows its practices have an environmental impact.

Animated explainer video

How can livestock be a part of the climate solution?

We all know that cows (and other ruminants like sheep) emit methane, but the environmental impact of methane from livestock is fundamentally different to the carbon dioxide from fossil fuels. 

Unlike carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, methane from livestock is recycled into carbon as plants and soil during the natural carbon cycle.

So what’s the industry doing about it?

Faster growth rates of livestock, improved survival rates and heavier finishing rates are just a few of the methods producers have used to reduce emissions. In fact the Australian beef industry has more than halved greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions since 2005.

The industry is investing in research to further reduce livestock methane emissions and working to protect environmentally sensitive areas like the Great Barrier Reef and minimise energy usage in processing plants.

A lot’s been achieved over the years, but there’s more to do.

In fact, the red meat and livestock industry has set the ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2030 ahead of most other industries in Australia and around the world.

CSIRO analysis shows it’s possible to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 by increasing productivity, increasing soil carbon and reducing emissions, without reducing herd and flock numbers.

Australian lamb and sheep meat is climate neutral

Research by the CSIRO shows Australia’s sheep meat sector, despite having increased production over the past 30 years, is now ‘climate neutral’ making no additional contribution to global temperature increases.

Supply chain

Environmental sustainability

On farm

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Environmental sustainability

Feedlot

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Environmental sustainability

Processing

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