Dunbia pumps £1m into measuring suppliers' carbon footprint

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Doran: 'We will create a sustainable beef and lamb supply chain'
Doran: 'We will create a sustainable beef and lamb supply chain'

Related tags: Meat & Seafood, Supply chain

Dunbia, the UK division of Dawn Meats Group, is investing an initial £1m in a multi-year supply chain project to measure the carbon footprint of 500 UK farm suppliers.

The ‘Bigger Steps for Smaller Footprints’​ project is designed to improve primary data available for on-farm emissions, helping Dunbia to cut carbon emissions in its supply chain. It would help deliver Scope 3 commitments for the business and its UK customers, it claimed.

The Carbon Trust aims to use the sample of 500 carbon footprints to calculate a representative measure of emissions for the 20,000 farms that supply Dunbia. The organisation will also independently verify the methodology employed, ensuring credibility and transparency, allowing Dunbia and its customers to report emissions and reductions to a recognised standard.

Leading agricultural sustainability consultancy Promar International will deliver independent advice to participating farmers, providing information and training on measures to reduce on-farm emissions. Farm carbon footprints will be reassessed every 18-24 months.

Science Based Targets Initiative

Two years ago, Dunbia became the first beef and lamb processor in Europe to commit to the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), which aims to drive operational and supply chain emissions reductions to support the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

Dunbia is working with groups such as Waste & Resources Action Programme's Meat in a Net Zero World and the UK Cattle Sustainability Platform to encourage sustainable farming and advance supply chain data collection and emissions accounting.

“Bigger Steps for Smaller Footprints is a large-scale project and reaches across the entire supply chain," ​Michael Doran, retail commercial director at Dunbia said.

Sustainable beef and lamb

"The aim is to support farmers and increase the adoption of practices which both reduce emissions and deliver efficiencies. By working together to achieve our climate targets, we will create a sustainable beef and lamb supply chain which is fit for the future.”

Sarah Haire, head of agriculture at Dunbia, added: “Collaboration at an industry level is key to delivering success at scale and we have an ambition to accelerate progress. Supporting our primary producers along the sustainability journey is paramount, and we are confident Bigger Steps for Smaller Footprints can have a lasting impact on our sector.”

Tom Cumberlege, director at the Carbon Trust commented: “This approach will help Dunbia gather insightful data of the carbon footprint of their supply chain, identify reduction opportunities, and help to track progress against climate targets. Looking at the whole supply chain ultimately gives confidence that such an important issue is being consistently addressed.”

Climate reduction roadmaps

Tom Gill, head of sustainability at Promar International, said: “Our approach will support each farm to understand its emissions and priority actions to reduce impact. We will engage, visit and work with each farm in 2022 to complete the carbon footprint and establish farm specific climate reduction roadmaps.”

Dawn Meats’ latest sustainability report​ showed the company had delivered reduced emissions from its supply chain (Scope 3) of 189,000 CO2 equivalent, and a 31% reduction in its intensity of energy usage.

Related topics: Meat, poultry & seafood, Environment

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