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CBH achieves Climate Active carbon neutral certification

CBH Group has become the first grain marketer in Australia to achieve carbon neutral certification for a product under the Federal Government’s Climate Active program. 

Climate Active is a voluntary program that provides organisations that demonstrate their commitment to measuring, reducing, and offsetting emissions with carbon neutral certification.

As part of a trial, CBH’s Marketing and Trading division teamed up with 12 Western Australian growers, agricultural consultants Farmanco, and independent contractors Ben White and Richard Brake to certify 10,000 tonnes of malt barley.

The barley will be sold to customers to produce about 200 million bottles of beer.

CBH Group Sustainability Lead Jane Wardle said it was a milestone achievement for the co-operative, which is committed to connecting WA growers with high value customers.

"As a key global exporter of grain, we're noticing significant growth in demand for sustainably produced grain," she said.

"It's increasingly critical for our customers to quantify and reduce the level of emissions produced within their supply chains to reduce their carbon footprints and meet consumer expectations.

"It presents an exciting opportunity for WA growers, who are already recognised as relatively low carbon emitters compared to several competitors, and are well positioned to become key suppliers into this growing market."

To achieve the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard, growers involved in the trial worked alongside their consultants to calculate the carbon emitted in the production of the barley from paddock to port.

These 12 growers were each interested in learning more about their farm’s greenhouse gas emissions and carbon measurement before becoming involved in this trial.

“Greenhouse gases generated through grain growing make up a major portion of total emissions in the production of food,” Ms Wardle said. 

“Decarbonising food and beverage products requires partnership across the complete supply chain, and this trial demonstrates how WA growers and industry can work together to unlock new and valuable opportunities, while limiting our environmental impact.” 

Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) generated from the Peniup Private Conservation Reserve Project in WA’s Great Southern were purchased to offset any remaining emissions generated from grain production through to delivery to a CBH port. 

“In purchasing these units, we felt it essential to support carbon projects within the WA grainbelt to ensure that the co-benefits of this project remained in the area where our growers operate,” Ms Wardle said. 

CBH Group will continue to explore opportunities to reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 as part of its Sustainability Plan, released in 2022.