ASBF annual update shows carbon emissions falling

The Australian beef industry’s carbon emissions have been cut by more than half since 2005.

Key points:

  • The beef industry’s carbon emissions have been cut by more than half since 2005
  • The data is proving the sector continues to progress towards carbon neutrality by 2030
  • New stakeholder priorities and data points are being assessed for the ABSF

The Australian Beef industry is well on track to reach carbon neutrality by 2030 as shown in the Australian Beef Sustainability Framework (ABSF) 2022 Annual Update.

Beef industry sailing ahead in carbon cuts

The ABSF 2022 Annual Update shows the industry has cut carbon emissions by 58.21 percent compared to 2005 levels as it moves towards its ambitious target of carbon neutrality by 2030.

The result is a significant improvement on the previous year (49.92%) and means the beef industry is already well ahead of the Federal government’s new and increased target for the entire economy of a 43 per cent reduction by 2030.

ABSF Chair Mark Davie said it shows the beef industry, which includes about 50,000 agricultural businesses managing more than half of the Australian landscape, is a leader in sustainability.

“What we are seeing in this year’s report is where our industry has set our own goals and where we have been ambitious, we make progress,” Mr Davie said.

“The big one is Carbon Neutral 2030. For MLA (Meat and Livestock Australia) and RMAC (Red Meat Advisory Council) to set that back in 2017 is really taking leadership in this space and we are now seeing the pathway to achieving that goal.”

ABSF leading global markets

Mr Davie said the ABSF has been critical to market access and capital and has put Australia at the forefront of the conversation globally.

“The ABSF is about how we can help generate a discussion, how we manage our land, and how we manage our supply chains for future generations,” he said.

While carbon emission reduction is one of the headline indicators of the annual update, Mr Davie said it is critical to develop new priorities and data points.

“Over the last two years we have been a very busy framework. We undertook a new materiality review for the first time in about five years,” he said.

“This was a really interesting undertaking because we went to our customers and asked: what is influential to you right now? And surprisingly there were some big changes in that. The one that comes to mind most is biodiversity.

“It wasn’t a highly significant or highly influential issue with our stakeholders when the ABSF was formed. It is now the most highly influential issue, up in line with carbon.”

Red Meat Advisory Council Chair John McKillop said the 2022 Annual Update is a timely reminder the industry needs to be accountable not only for its successes but its impacts.

“We need to see the opportunities before they are there, lead with our innovation, and show the world how successful we are.”

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