The Power of Standardizing Carbon Accounting to Thoughtfully Address Climate Change
November 10, 2021
OSI’s ability to measure our environmental impact throughout our operations is critical for achieving our environmental sustainability goals. In 2018, we analyzed issues to determine their importance to our business and our partners. We concluded that climate change is one of the top issues for OSI’s business success as well as a range of our outside stakeholders. To make an impact, we had to complete our carbon accounting and implement this tool across our global regions to standardize our carbon footprint reporting.
OSI's bespoke and proprietary calculator, aligned to the GHG protocol, informs the group's work by helping managers identify and quantify carbon emissions in our facilities and our supply chain. The tool tracks emissions from in-company operations (like heating, cooling and the use of company-owned vehicles), the buying of utilities (like electricity), and our up- and downstream activities (like business travel, the transportation and distribution of products and the purchase of raw material and ingredients).
This calculator allows us to be more strategic about our approach to climate change in our own operations and with our customers and partners who have set their own ambitious goals.
We are continuing to develop our strategy and expand it to new areas of the company through supply chain and industry partnerships, investment in more data capture and analysis and integration of carbon reduction activities into our day-to-day operations. Our early actions have set the stage for longer term planning for what we want to accomplish in 2022 and beyond.
REDUCING ENERGY THROUGHOUT OUR SUPPLY CHAIN
As OSI has expanded our offerings and increased our sustainability engagements with our customers, our regional environmental management teams manage our impacts and when necessary, engage third-party specialists to conduct holistic assessments of all related risk areas. OSI uses the results to consider investments that reduce our impacts.
Our partners have set their own ambitious targets. Our carbon accounting standardization helps us work with them to better understand how our partnership is generating a footprint and focus on areas for mitigation and, in some instances, eliminate our footprint altogether.
In Europe, OSI’s Pickstock farm is working with agri specialists, Promar, to deliver a carbon neutral farming system by 2030. This project is unique as it takes into consideration carbon storage and sequestration, as well as calculating the level of biomass in the soil from GPS sampling points using LiDAR technology. To date, no other projects have used such carbon footprinting tools.
Measuring the carbon intensity and total environmental impact of farmed livestock is not an easy task. The work being undertaken also considers the role of nitrogen fixing plants such as legumes and herbal leys, which store nitrogen in the soil. This is key, as these plants reduce the requirement for grassland to receive nitrogen fertilizer applications, which will produce emissions.
We also work with our suppliers on carbon reduction strategies and training activities such as regional summits, individual coaching, and benchmarking activities. OSI has a history of partnering with suppliers and customers to establish industry standards for carbon reduction performance and support local farmer groups.
We believe that combating climate change will continue to be a top priority for OSI’s and our stakeholders’ success. Our carbon accounting tool will help us identify opportunities for reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and develop long term plans in 2022 and beyond to reach our sustainability goals and help others in our industry succeed in theirs.