CARBON & eNVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTING
Now, more than ever, there is a collective desire amongst the community and regulators to see industries move toward more sustainable and integrated production systems and an overall reduction in industry carbon footprints where possible. This drive is underpinned by the Australian Government’s Paris agreement obligations to reduce net emissions as well as a community expectation that industries are committed to reducing their environmental impact footprint and this is seen most through consumer choice metrics.
In order to influence the movement to more sustainable, carbon neutral operations, there are several regulated and non-regulated (voluntary) market mechanisms and accreditation pathways available for industry which in some instances can provide additional revenue as a payment for carbon capture and storage (Australian Carbon Credit Units) and payment for ecosystem services as well as appealing to the conscious consumer through accreditation through carbon neutral or other sustainable seafood or environmental frameworks.
Navigating the regulatory and political landscape for carbon and climate change policy is challenging. As a result, in 2021, Oysters Australia engaged Nine-Squared to provide some targeted understanding of what opportunities exist in the carbon neutral and environmental accounting space and how they specifically apply to the industry, the benefits, and path to implementation.
The outputs from this project are provided below in the form of:
• A 36-page strategic report highlighting opportunities and associated value in carbon neutral certification and environmental accounts
• A 4-page summary handout discussing carbon neutral certification for oyster farmers
• A 5-page summary handout discussing ecosystem services and environmental condition accounting for oyster farmers
• A recorded 1 hour webinar summarising the project and findings
Growers interested in carbon & environmental accounting should also check-out some work undertaken in New Zealand which looked at the life-cycle assessment of oysters and mussels. The project assessed the carbon footprint of farmed shellfish over their entire life cycle from farming activities, harvesting, processing, packaging, chilled distribution to domestic retail, preparing, consumption, and disposal of used shells & packaging.