AGRO.GES is able to offer unique solutions for implementing and demonstrating agricultural and agro-industrial sustainable practices due to its experience from around 800 projects with sector operators and over 20 years supporting the design of agricultural policy, at both national and international level.
Climate change in the agricultural, forestry and agro-industrial sectors
Agriculture is a sector both highly sensitive to the effects of climate change – it is estimated that in many regions’ profits may fall by 20 to 30% and that production quality may be affected – and a relevant contributor to the emission of greenhouse gases – being responsible for 14% of the world total. Companies in the sector are at the forefront of product carbon footprint calculation, identifying cost-effective measures to enhance environmental and economic performance and communicating their commitment in business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) markets.
– Calculation of product’s carbon footprint (Carbon Trust Footprint ExpertTM Registered Consultant)
– Quantifying emissions and carbon sequestration in the value chain (The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate and Scope 3 Standards)
– Mitigation and adaptation plans
– Response to requirements and information requests
Water footprint of agro-industrial products
Globally, agricultural areas use up 70% of all ground and surface water. Water shortages currently affect all continents and over 40% of the world population, which limits capacity for agricultural production in many regions. This is the case in the Mediterranean basin where changes in precipitation patterns are expected to increase dry periods and desertification levels. The use of indicators such as the water footprint – which quantifies the total volume of fresh water used, directly and indirectly, in the production of a given product – is essential to the assessment of producers’ exposure to such effects and to determine effective mitigation measures.
– Calculation of products’ water footprint in their blue, green and grey components (Water Footprint Network Methodology)
Sustainability in the agro-industrial supply chain
A significant part of companies’ environmental and social impact stems from the supply chain. This is the case with certain agro-industrial products, where nearly 80% of greenhouse gas emissions in agricultural production occur. Managing risks, reducing costs and improving global sustainability performance cause evermore companies to set goals for purchasing agricultural raw materials from sustainable sources, thereby making this critical for national producers as well.
– Global assessment of supply chain sustainability
– Creating plans for the involvement and enhancement of supplier sustainability performance
– Compliance with clients’ agricultural sustainability requisites
– Creation and implementation of biodiversity plans (i.e. Business and Biodiversity initiative)
– Implementation of environmental management and quality systems
(BRC – British Retail Consortium, ISO 14001, GlobalG.A.P.) [Quality Department] – Response to information requests (i.e. CDP Supply Chain, specific questionnaires of big clients)
Sustainability reports for agricultural, forestry and agro-industrial companies
In todays’ world, sustainability reports are documents highly valued for their ability to promote transparent communication between organizations and their stakeholders. Over 5000 companies from all business sectors in over 60 countries use the GRI guidelines (Global Reporting Initiative) – the most recognised international standard. Although it’s still a voluntary process, there is a clear trend toward governmental authorities and capital markets regulators making the reporting of environmental, social and economic information associated with the companies’ activities mandatory.
– Drafting Sustainability Reports in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines (GRI G3 and Sectoral Supplements)
Sustainability Plans within the framework of the Common Agricultural Policy reform
One of the priorities of the European Union’s Rural Development Policy for 2014-2020 will be the transition to a low carbon climate resilient economy in the agricultural, agro-industrial and forestry sectors, along with the efficient use of natural resources and the preservation of eco-systems associated with agriculture and forests. After 2013, access to agricultural support and incentive systems, within agro-environmental and climate measures, will require the adoption of agricultural/environmental best practices which must be objectively demonstrated through quantifiable indicators.
– Framework for the financing of indemnification for loss of profit and costs incurred due to commitments undertaken for the adoption of agricultural/environmental best practices
– Quantification of results from environmentally sustainable practices
– Development of instruments for the communication of best practices