Pāmu, the largest farming group in New Zealand, has achieved Toitū carbonreduce certification across 20 farms as part of a long-term commitment to reduce its carbon emissions by 4 per cent per annum to 2024.

To achieve Toitū carbonreduce certification, each farm must measure all operational greenhouse gas emissions required under the international standard and develop plans to continually manage and reduce these. The emissions are measured and independently verified annually.

Pāmu Chief Executive, Mark Leslie, says that his organisation is committed to transparency around its emissions reduction journey, and supporting others in the sector along.

“We are committed to being a sector leader when it comes to farming and environmental innovation and being a role-model for other agriculture businesses starting their carbon reduction journey. The geographic diversity and range of our livestock farming systems enables Pāmu to trial mitigations and improvements under different conditions. There are some big challenges ahead, and we are starting to develop concrete plans to reduce our emissions. We also expect to have each of our farms certified by 2024.”

Pāmu manages 110 farms over 364,000 hectares, with revenue primarily coming from dairy and livestock farming. In 2021 these contributed close to 0.75m gross metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent and sequestered around 0.33m metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Pāmu Sustainability Manager, Sam Bridgman, says that the Toitū carbonreduce certification marks an important step in the organisation’s ongoing sustainability journey, which has already seen Pāmu make considerable carbon reduction investments.

“Our Focus Genetics subsidiary is breeding animals with lower methane levels, and we have changed several of our dairy farms to organic farms. We’ve also increased our productivity practices over time to produce more product with less animals,” he says.

To further reduce emissions and maintain the standards required by its Toitū carbonreduce certification, Pāmu has also started business-wide training and planning sessions.

“We’re working to develop tailored emission reduction solutions for each farm. At the same time, we’re working with our suppliers to identify more carbon-friendly practices,” says Bridgman.