Faced with increasingly stark messaging from scientists on the lack of global progress on staving off climate change, the private sector is turning its focus onto the growing market for carbon commercialization, which generates carbon credits that can be purchased by businesses to “offset” their greenhouse gas emissions and meet net-zero goals. Management consulting firm Deloitte has recently partnered with the HydroGreen division of CubicFarm Systems Corp. to bring a new means of producing farm-based inset and offset carbon credits.
New research has shown that HydroGreen’s Automated Vertical Pastures™ technology can help meet the growing demand for high-quality carbon credits by providing livestock feed that lowers methane emissions by roughly 24% on a per unit milk output basis, as well as reducing methane emissions up to approximately 48% on a per kilogram weight gain basis. Overall, the research shows that every cow fed HydroGreen fresh forage reduces methane emissions by about one metric ton of CO2, per year, per animal. The technology has a knock-on effect of cutting emissions by reducing the amount of land needed to grow feed crops, as well as bringing the source of feed closer to its point of use, thereby reducing transportation emissions.
“We're thrilled to develop a carbon program for HydroGreen by leveraging our extensive background in carbon management for agriculture and livestock," said Nathan Steeghs, a Partner in Deloitte's Sustainability & Climate Change practice. "We need to focus on tech solutions that can help close the emissions gap in getting to net-zero, and we believe in investing in solutions that are commercially viable today and technologies that have the potential to unlock significant carbon reductions for future generations."
The research, developed by a collaboration of academic researchers and industry experts, studied groups of 344 Jersey dairy cows and 244 beef cattle. Gathering over 200,000 data points, researchers were ultimately able to determine that feed grown in HydroGreen’s Automated Vertical Pastures™ reduces methane in dairy and beef cattle, and also improves feed efficiency, cow health, nutrition, and performance outcomes.
As businesses push to meet time-limited net-zero goals, Deloitte and CubicFarms are sure to grow the market for farm-based carbon credits along with the market for high-quality livestock feed.