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Executive Director's Message

This edition of Connect comes to you in a week of GRSB meetings in Chicago – hopefully you are with us and enjoying participating in strategic planning and looking forward to the communicators summit, GHG meeting and our board meeting. All in all, we will have a lot to report on in the next edition of Connect, including welcoming some new members.

At the reception on Wednesday evening, we will be joined by a group from ESAP, the Environmental Stewardship Awards Program. Now in its 28th year, the program honours the cattlemen and women who make outstanding contributions to environmental stewardship; the 2018 winner was Thunder View Farms from Grahamsville in New York, who have implemented a range of innovations to protect the environment and improve the performance of their operation. Read more here.

As mentioned in the last Connect, our Thursday afternoon board meeting will now deal with the GHG project work – Viresco solutions have completed a draft report on phase 1, (see the executive summary here).

We hope that your organisation will be represented at that meeting and all of those that have experts in the field of GHGs will have someone in attendance who can get involved in Phase 2. It will undoubtedly be a significant project requiring the involvement of as many of our members and our national roundtables members as possible to create consensus and buy in from throughout the global beef industry.

As you can read in the executive summary, there are quite large areas in carbon foot–printing that are left open to the user to decide on – system boundaries, life cycle inventories, co product allocation and functional units, all of which impact on the bottom line. The report examines a number of potentially useful guidelines that could help create more alignment including FAO's LEAP, IDF's bulletin and Quantis's guide on Land Use Change and the ongoing C–Sequ project in which we are involved.

The report then goes on to review methods used by an array of carbon foot–printing tools and assessments and the feed databases that support them. They are many and varied, and as you might expect, sow considerable variance. GWP of different GHGs is also considered, and the differences between the values in the 4th and 5th IPCC assessment report considered, along with more recent work on the treatment of short lived GHGs such as Methane – the now reasonably well know work on GWP* published last year.

Changes in Carbon stocks are also considered, both with respect to Land Use Change but also with respect to Management Changes; current gaps in the treatment of management changes and recommendations are highlighted. The report finishes with a wide ranging consideration of gaps, sources of variance and the priorities for seeking alignment – the foundation of a structure for the second phase of our project on GHGs.

Please do read the executive summary, and encourage your in–house experts to review the entire report so that we can leverage the expertise of our whole network to enhance the value of this project.

Thank you!

Ruaraidh Petre
Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef
Executive Director
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