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Australian Pork industry takes the lead for a cleaner environment

The Australian pork industry has become the only agricultural industry to be granted contracts under the federal governments Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).

The pork industry has had four successful projects recognised in the federal government’s first ERF auction which represents a commitment of 290,000 tonnes carbon dioxide (CO2) to be abated.

All piggery projects were focused on the capture of biogas which is produced by the anaerobic digestion of organic matter in effluent systems. Effluent is collected from pig sheds and conveyed to an anaerobic treatment system which could be a covered pond or a purpose built digester. The biogas can then be used to displace fossil fuel used for heating or for combined heat and power generation.

The participation of Australian pork producers in the ERF scheme demonstrates the industries proactive approach in adopting renewable energy technology, reducing resource use and the industry’s environmental footprint.

Credits generated through the ERF will assist producers significantly reduce payback periods for implementation of these biogas systems. Over the seven year life of these contracts the emissions reduction will be the equivalent of getting 11,571 houses (four person house) off the grid for one year or if averaged over the seven years, taking 1,653 homes off the grid each year.

Australian Pork Limited CEO Andrew Spencer said, “The results of this first auction highlights the innovative and progressive nature of Australian pork farmers as well as demonstrating the industry is walking the talk when taking responsibility for environmental stewardship and reducing its carbon footprint”.

“The pork industry in Australia only accounts for around 0.4 percent of Australia’s Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, however mitigation and utilisation of GHG’s not only minimises the industry’s environmental footprint but also acts to offset production costs. Additionally, it significantly assists in reducing odour issues around intensive animal production systems. A win, win situation all round,” Spencer said.

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