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02 December 2021

Strong commitment of the livestock-meat sector to sustainability and to contribute to the solution to climate change.

José Manuel Alvarez
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3 min.
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The Spanish livestock-meat sector is working in a coordinated manner to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions attributable to its activity by 30%, as part of its firm commitment to move towards environmental neutrality and compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The six interprofessional organizations of the sector, ASICI, AVIANZA, INTERCUN, INTEROVIC, INTERPORC and PROVACUNO, announced this collective project of the entire chain a few weeks ago, coinciding with the COP26 Climate Change Summit, which was held in Glasgow.

To achieve these reduction targets, 50% of which correspond to methane reductions (in line with the "Global Commitment on Methane", promoted by the USA and the European Union at COP26 and joined by 100 countries, the sector is involved in investments of 600 million euros in the field of animal production and some 542 million euros in the meat industries), These also include other objectives such as the improvement of energy efficiency in livestock industries and facilities, manure, slurry and sewage sludge management operations, and livestock feeding and enteric fermentation,

This entire plan, which is being developed to contribute to the solution of the climate change problems facing our planet, is an important part of a strategic sectoral project linked to the European Next Generation funds and the State Plan for Recovery and Resilience, and will mobilize investments of more than 5,054 million euros to increase the environmental sustainability and innovation capacity of the livestock-meat chain, contributing to the recovery and economic transformation of our country.

This project involves 1,689 companies and livestock farmers from all the Autonomous Communities, 73.6% of which are SMEs, together with technological partners in the fields of circular economy, renewable energies and digitalization.

The target includes a total of 529 investment proposals related to greenhouse gas reduction, 724 proposals to reduce ammonia emissions in facilities, 220 proposals focused on reducing emissions in transport and 110 on other aspects related to sustainability.

Reducing ammonia, water footprint and energy consumption

In addition to the ambitious targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases, especially methane, the livestock-meat chain envisages the reduction of ammonia emissions from the facilities of the sectors included in an average value of 28%, together with 6% in industry.

Likewise, energy consumption in farms and meat industries will also be reduced by 38% and 22%, respectively, with the projects undertaken.

The water footprint per kilogram of final product will also be reduced by an average of 18%, as a result of the reduction in water consumption following the automation and robotization of processes, the control of water leaks and escapes due to the modernization of facilities and water supply systems, as well as operations associated with the reuse and recovery of water for cleaning operations, livestock supply or crop irrigation.

Finally, feed consumption will decrease by 15%, which will in turn lead to a reduction in GHG and ammonia emissions. And the consumption of other raw materials will also be reduced by 23% in livestock facilities and by 18% in the meat industries.

The livestock-meat chain has always shown its commitment to contributing to the progress and development of Spanish society and its territory, as demonstrated by its ecosystem which generates employment, wealth, territorial structuring, a balanced and healthy diet and responsible consumption, in addition to its efforts to reduce the environmental impacts generated by its activity.