Knowledge for better food systems

New research by IATP and GRAIN estimates the corporate emissions from the livestock sector

The top five mega-corporations responsible for factory-farmed meat and dairy are responsible for emitting more combined greenhouse gases (GHGs) than Exxon, or Shell, or BP. That is according to findings released in a joint study undertaken by IATP and GRAIN.

The joint paper by GRAIN, IATP and Heinrich Böll Foundation, ‘Big meat and dairy’s supersized climate footprint’, presents an estimate of corporate emissions from the livestock sector. They find that the top 20 meat and dairy companies emitted more greenhouse gases in 2016 than all of Germany, Europe’s biggest climate polluter by far, and if these companies were a country, they would be the world’s seventh largest greenhouse gas emitter.

You can find the paper as it appeared in The Guardian here or on the website of GRAIN here, where you can also download their dataset of estimated GHG emissions from meat and dairy companies for 2016.

You might also be interested in these FCRN reports on animal farming, efficiency and sustainability: Gut feelings and possible tomorrows: (where) does animal farming fit? and Lean, green, mean, obscene…? What is efficiency? And is it sustainable?.

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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