Dunbia Announces £1m Investment to Tackle Agricultural Supply Chain Emissions

  • ‘Bigger Steps for Smaller Footprints’ will measure carbon footprint of 500 farms
  • Data to be independently verified by the Carbon Trust
  • Project will support Dunbia’s science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions

Dunbia, the UK division of Dawn Meats Group, is investing an initial £1m in a new multi-year, full supply chain project to measure the carbon footprint of 500 UK farms, working with suppliers to reduce emissions and improve emissions accounting.

The ‘Bigger Steps for Smaller Footprints’ project will improve the primary data available in relation to on-farm emissions, helping Dunbia to reduce carbon emissions in its supply chain and is of strategic importance in delivering on Scope 3 commitments for both Dunbia and its UK customers.

The Carbon Trust will use this sample of 500 carbon footprints to calculate a representative measure of emissions for the 20,000 farms that supply Dunbia. The Carbon Trust 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 company, Promar International will deliver independent expert advice to participating farmers providing information and training on measures that can help reduce on farm emissions. Farm carbon footprints will be reassessed every 18-24 months.

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 also working with industry groups such as WRAP’s Meat in a Net Zero World and the UK Cattle Sustainability Platform to scale up the adoption of sustainable farming practices and to advance supply chain data collection and emissions accounting.

Michael Doran, Retail Commercial Director at Dunbia commented:

“Bigger Steps for Smaller Footprints is a large-scale project and reaches across the entire supply chain. 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. With support from Promar International and the Carbon Trust, we are delighted to announce this new leadership project. 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.”

Tom Gill, Head of Sustainability at Promar International stated:

“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’ most recent 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. Dawn Meats full 2020 Group Sustainability Report can be viewed here.