As the agriculture industry is moving towards more sustainable solutions and ingredients, Alltech E-CO2 has developed the Feeds EA model to help feed manufacturers and producers globally measure and lower the carbon footprint of their feed. Feeds EA measures the environmental impact of feed production at the feed mill level by assessing the impact of existing compounds or blends. This is determined by calculating greenhouse gas emissions from production, cultivation, processing, energy utilization and transportation in the manufacturing of the feed. Feeds EA can calculate emissions from a database of more than 300 ingredients, including raw materials, soya products, byproducts, and additives.
“Optimizing the sustainability of feed production provides a huge opportunity for the whole supply chain,” said Ben Braou, business general manager for Alltech E-CO2. “By utilizing Feeds EA, feed manufacturers are provided with the means to further enhance their product range and sustainability credentials through supplying feed with a lower environmental impact.”
Feed has the potential to influence up to 80% of a farm’s carbon footprint, considering the direct emissions from production, as well as the transportation of feed and indirect emissions that arise from the impact of that feed on the animal. However, the true impact depends on the species and the system of production. The Feeds EA model provides an opportunity to optimize a ration by demonstrating how formulation changes could reduce the carbon footprint of the feed. Some ingredients carry a higher carbon weight than others, so the substitution or replacement of specific ingredients with more sustainable options can have a major impact.
“At Alltech E-CO2, we are able to work with feed mills and producers to take those specific feed emissions and apply them at a farm level through our certified livestock assessments,” said Braou. “This greatly increases the accuracy and opportunity for carbon footprint measurement and mitigation across the feed and food chain.”
Feeds EA allows feed manufacturers to produce and market more sustainable feed, thereby enabling producers to choose diets with a lower environmental impact. This is particularly relevant in markets that have an environmental focus and where farm gate prices are linked to sustainability metrics.
For feed manufacturers or producers using Feeds EA, a summary report is provided following the calculation of the feeds’ carbon footprint, allowing for a comparison of different compounds or blends. The report includes the number of ingredients involved in the feed, their inclusion percentage in the feed, their carbon footprint percentage and the percentage of kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) per metric ton, which is derived from the disaggregated feed emissions of the different sourced categories.