Measuring sustainability to feed the future
Sustainability is one of the major issues in the context of a growing world population. The earth’s population is set to increase to 10 billion by 2050. If we continue to act as we do today, by this time the demand for resources will be three times greater than the planet can supply. AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG – a modern agricultural trading and service company in the segments of agricultural products, animal nutrition, crop farming and agricultural engineering – is engaging in sustainable business practices in order to promote them in the feed value chain.
Since AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG is an important partner in German livestock farming, it has a strong focus on sustainable development within its value chain – from seeding to harvesting to processing and delivery. By regularly adjusting its feed concepts the company contributes to improving sustainable development within the livestock value chain. But how can AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG provide transparent information regarding sustainability, and how to measure the product performance in terms of environmental, social and economic factors?
One of the biggest challenges for the agricultural sector is to show that modern farming is sustainable. The cooperation with the SET – applied sustainability™ team allows us to scientifically assess the environmental performance of our pig feed concepts. To us, it is hence an innovative and highly valuable tool that helps us foster the controversial debate regarding sustainable animal nutrition.
Evaluate product sustainability performance
In cooperation with AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG, our applied sustainability team in Europe developed a customized online calculation tool in order to compare different feed mixes for pigs along the entire value chain from seed to feed. Using the eco-efficiency analysis method and assessing various factors such as water emissions, land use, carbon footprint and cost aspects, AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG got transparency on environmental impact in relation to the product’s cost effectiveness. For example, the results of a comparison between traditional and N- & P-reduced feeding concepts show that water consumption and land use have the greatest impact on the overall outcome. The use of grain and grain substitutes, protein sources, amino acids and additives is the biggest lever to improve environmental impact. With newly designed diets the use of arable land to produce pork can be already today reduced by app. 30%. AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG also got clarity on the fact that the environmental impact of transport is negligible and that using by-products such as bran generally makes sense, as they do not have considerable environmental impact in any of the environmental categories considered.
While AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG invested their nutritional knowledge BASF framed and designed the tool in terms of getting transparency on sustainability – a very fruitful collaboration!