We are excited about our sustainable future and our potential to drive positive change through our business, industry and communities to deliver a better world for future generations.
Sustainability fundamentally underpins the success of our business and the Australian agriculture sector. Our Sustainability Framework will be the blue-print for our future, guiding our decisions and committing us to action.
We are aiming high, with bold ambitions that shape agriculture to meet the needs of a changing world, protect and respect the foundation of nature and help our communities thrive.
Because Nature is fundamental to everything we do we are taking concerted climate action, pursuing circularity across our operations and, critically, working to regenerate nature to protect and enhance key ecosystem services in our care.
Thriving communities are critical for the health, resilience, and fundamental future of our business. This ambition will be realised through the creation of connection and opportunity for our people, the communities we touch and critically, in active, co-developed partnerships with the First Nations Communities that we are connected with.
We have set five priority commitments in climate action, regenerating nature and animal health & welfare as a first step in bringing our strategy to life. These priority commitments along with our extended commitments signal a broader program to come for tackling the material issues for our business and our ambition for sustainability at AACo.
Carbon sequestration in the landscape presents one of our most significant opportunities to contribute to the solution for global warming, participate in carbon markets as an alternate revenue stream, increase our productivity, and improve our financial resilience to drought and climate change.
Together with our partners Food Agility, Cibo Labs, Mullion Group and Carbon Link, we will develop an industry leading method for measuring, managing and forecasting soil carbon sequestration by satellite that will bring down the cost barrier for participation in soil carbon markets. We will extend this method to model the carbon flow through our estate by incorporating carbon sequestration in vegetation and overlaying our methane emissions from cattle, for the first time demonstrating the biogenic carbon cycle in action.
We are stewards of vast tracts of land in the Northern Australian landscape. Enhancing natural capital makes sense commercially as well as being a key opportunity to play our part in addressing the global biodiversity decline.
We are working alongside Accounting for Nature to develop a certifiable scientific framework to measure and report on the condition of natural capital, including biodiversity, across AACo’s land assets by 2023. We will apply that framework to baseline priority assets by 2024.
We recognise our responsibility to mitigate our climate impact and to produce food in a way that benefits future generations. Methane emissions represent a significant component of our current operational footprint – addressing them is a key component of our Climate Action. We have been focused on reducing our emissions intensity for several years and are now working towards tackling our methane emissions head on.
We are working with Sea Forest, Meat and Livestock Australia, the University of New England and the University of Queensland. Together we are committing to fast tracking the development of Asparagopsis as a feed additive for commercial application to the reduction of methane emissions from long-fed cattle in feedlots. This is the first step in taking this ground-breaking science from research to real world application at scale. We are looking to the future where we will continue to overcome technical challenges and extend the application of this technology across our entire herd.
Certification opens markets, commands price premiums and provides a framework to drive improvement in performance. There is a gap in certification for Animal Health and Welfare in northern Australian rangelands
We will pursue our commitment to the Five Domains of Animal Wellbeing by working with key industry partners to develop an internationally recognised AHW certification standard for extensive beef production by 2024. This certification standard will provide a structure to drive innovation and improvement in the already high AHW standards and practices of our industry in northern Australia.
Developing and nurturing agricultural innovation is vital to the long-term sustainability of our industry. Faced with multiple challenges including drought, climate variability, biosecurity, global competition and consumer preferences our industry needs new practices that can be implemented at speed and scale more than ever.
We will establish ‘The Wylarah Institute’ with the objective of driving the rapid adoption and commercialisation of innovative science and practices in the agricultural industry. The institute will initially focus on two key areas: Reimagining Agriculture to meet the needs of a changing world and Valuing Nature to protect the foundation of nature for a better tomorrow.