ABP has signed up to the Business In the Community Ireland (BITCI) Low Carbon Pledge, the first dedicated pledge generated by Irish businesses to set industry standards on sustainability and reduce carbon emissions.

ABP has been a member of the Science Based Targets initiative since 2019, where its greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets are consistent with levels required to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The company is also a nominated sector leader of a similar carbon reduction scheme with Business in the Community in Northern Ireland.

Beef possibilities

Technical and sustainability director with ABP Food Group Dean Holroyd said: “ABP is pleased to be among 50 Irish businesses that have signed up to the Low Carbon Pledge movement.

“For over six years we have been working with Teagasc and the ICBF to make beef productions more sustainable and the results to date demonstrate what can be achieved on a typical farm as well as highlighting the possibilities for the beef production sector.”

Originally launched in 2018, the Low Carbon Pledge calls on all Irish businesses to work towards setting science-based emission reduction targets by 2024.

Demonstration farm

As part of its commitment to reduce its carbon emissions, ABP has been conducting a multi-year study with Teagasc and the ICBF at its demonstration farm in Carlow.

The research has focused on using a data-driven approach to improving the genetics available to the dairy beef herd, so that beef animals optimise their feed conversion ratio, grow faster and are ready for slaughter at a younger age, thereby significantly reducing their emissions footprint.

The study has demonstrated that a methane emission reduction of up to 40% is achievable and this could have significant positive benefits across Irish beef production.

The results also highlight the potential for improved yields of up to €200 on animal carcase values for beef farmers. Over 4,000 animals have been involved in the study to date with results fed into the ICBF data base.