THE agri-food company ABP has been awarded Platinum for the second year running in the Northern Ireland Environmental Benchmarking Survey which is organised by the responsible business network Business in the Community.
The NI Environmental Bench-marking Survey is an annual event that scores organisations on the measures they take to improve their environmental impacts. Some 113 organisations from a range of different sectors measured and reported their environmental impacts this year with 33 achieving Platinum.
The survey is an important comparison tool and a way for organisations to identify areas where they can improve their environmental impacts, as well as be recognised for their efforts to prioritise sustainability.
George Mullan, Managing Dir-
ector of ABP Northern Ireland, said: “As a Business in the Community Climate Action Champ-
ion, we are delighted to be recognised for our organisational commitment to sustainability.
“ABP’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). These targets address emissions within our business and across our supply chain. We are investing in ways to significantly reduce emissions and we are engaging with our farmer suppliers to support them on this journey as a matter of urgency.”
Recent programmes include research at ABP’s R&D farms on ways to help beef farmers reduce their environmental impact.
This work has been ongoing for several years using a data-driven approach to improving genetics available to the beef herd so that beef farmers can reduce their environmental impact. The research combines the latest sustainability thinking from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) and Teagasc in Ireland and Harper Adams University in the UK.
The study has demonstrated a methane emission reduction of up to 40 per cent is achievable and this could have significant positive benefits across beef production on the British Isles. “Horizon, ABP’s dairy to beef partnership with Dale Farm in Northern Ireland, is already putting this research into practice here,” explains George Mullan.
ABP is also collaborating with the Queen’s University of Belfast on ways to make beef farming more sustainable. EIT – C Neutral is a pan-European project working to develop a decision support tool that will be cost effective and easily adopted at farm level to enable a reduction in net GHG emissions from livestock.
The research with Queen’s is being carried out at ABP’s Demonstration Farm in Shrop-shire.
“The idea is that our research pipeline and demonstration farms
identify new thinking and innovative practices that can then be shared widely with the farming community,” continues Mr Mullan.
One way of sharing that knowledge is through the ABP Sustainable Beef Podcast. Hosted by the well known farmer and TV presenter Adam Henson, there have been two episodes to date. They feature conversations with leading industry minds, including Jude Capper of Harper Adams University, Prof Temple Grandin, Colorado State University, and Prof Chris Reynolds of Reading University.
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