Global Metrix for the Environment

On August 4, 2016

The environmental performance index Global Metrix for the Environment fully supports the N2 Applied mission.

Yale University and Columbia University in collaboration with World Economic Forum

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks countries' performance on high priority environmental issues

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks countries’ performance on high priority environmental issues

have issued a well-illustrated KPI report per country and sector.  The report is receiving attention from policy makers, media and environmentalists around the world. https://issuu.com/2016yaleepi/docs/epi2016_final

In the report, the two and only KPIs related to agricultural performance is about the use of Nitrogen.  Nitrogen Use Efficiency and Nitrogen Balance are indirectly pointing at the environmental effects of livestock manure management.  The report is directly explaining the N-inefficiency related to livestock production.  Bottom line is that western countries are consuming 80% of the crop for livestock production, and losing much of the Nitrogen due to inefficient manure management.

According to the report, the issue has been shaded by lack of data and misleading local LCA methodology:

The EPI documents the tabgible benefits that arise when policymakers pursue strong environmental performance and the damage that occurs when they do not.

The EPI documents the tangible benefits that arise when policymakers pursue strong environmental performance and the damage that occurs when they do not.

The 2016 EPI nitrogen indicators represent one of the first attempts to measure agricultural environmental performances at a global scale. They offer countries a snapshot of how well their agricultural practices are matching their environmental capacity, as measured through the proxy of nutrient use. However, global data for a number of variables used to calculate these indicators remain shaky and imprecise.

The report is specifically pointing at the livestock issue, and we could not agree more with them:

The 2016 EPI tracks nitrogen (N) flow through crop systems. Yet, the livestock sector is the single largest contributor to reactive N mobilization on the planet,[footnote 12] with the single largest land use footprint of any industrial sector.[footnote 13] In countries where livestock production accounts for at least half of the agricultural sector – such as Europe, the United States, and Australia – 80 percent of nitrogen in crops is used to feed livestock.[footnote 14] Overall, livestock production is expected to double by 2030, primarily in response to shifts in dietary habits in the developing world.[footnote 13] Livestock production and management will play a significant role in the assessment of a country’s environmental performance. The EPI has not been able to identify specific statistics on how much nitrogen is lost to the environment from the livestock sector on a global scale, but the numbers cited above imply that it is substantial. An indicator developed from an agricultural systems approach would provide valuable quantifications of N loss from crop-livestock systems.

Livestock production will continue to be an issue, and the N2 Applied mission and solution is the most effective way of reducing the negative environmental effect.  It’s all about Nitrogen.  http://epi.yale.edu/chapter/agriculture

 

Comments are closed.