How are you? Over the past few months, Covid-19 has made everyone’s reality uncertain and surreal. Social life came to a standstill, companies could not continue their activities, or only with great effort, and the world went into lockdown. Hopefully this episode has left you unscathed so far. Gradually and cautiously, we are all resuming our social lives and economic activities.
The BMS MN team has remained active throughout and has continued production and commercial support in strict compliance with safety standards. This experience with Corona has made us realise more than ever that we urgently need to restore the balance between human activity and nature. Sustainability was high on the EU agenda in 2019 and must not wane in times of crisis management. On the contrary, acceleration is all the more urgent because with further global warming more pandemics could possibly be expected, with enormous economic impact. This acceleration can be achieved if more and more businesses move towards a low-carbon and circular business model, among other measures that can be taken. Innovative sustainability, and replacing old technologies, is also essential for the company’s own long term.
Green Deal as foundation for the EU recovery plan
The European Commission presented its recovery plan at the end of May. Restoring biodiversity and investing in sustainability – two of the aspects that form the fundamental pillars of this strategy. What does this mean exactly?
The Green Deal envisions the following measures by 2030:
- 25% of all agricultural parcels should be farmed organically
- 50% reduction in pesticides
- 20% reduction in fertilisers
- 50% reduction in antibiotics for animal husbandry and aquaculture
From farm to fork:
- Shortening the food chain with more local production in Europe
- Investment in modern technology: e.g. encouraging precision farming
- Creating clear labels that help consumers make sustainable choices and as such, encourage sustainable production
Therefore, the agricultural sector has real responsibility which the EU will encourage and support. Specific legislative initiatives are not yet in place. But you can make sure you’re prepared and anticipate sure-fire future obligations. Get a head start now with Ecomethod.
But what exactly is the benchmark?
To measure the impact of human activity on the environment, we use the “carbon footprint”.
The carbon footprint measures the contribution of human activities to the greenhouse effect, expressed in units of equivalent carbon dioxide (CO2eq). These greenhouse gases are partly responsible for climate change.
By using this method, we can also measure the impact of agricultural production. Let’s take the production of a tonne of potatoes as an example: the global ecological footprint of this production consists of the sum of the individual footprints that arise from (among others):
- field preparation
Each of these agronomic aspects comes with its own CO2 emissions and its own impact as a result.
From traditional fertilisation to ecological fertilisation
Talking about the impact of fertilisation: this is where you can make a difference. You can significantly reduce the carbon footprint left by fertilisation if you opt for efficient and innovative techniques; something the EU will encourage to a great extent. Ecomethod, the foliar fertilisation method of BMS Micro-Nutrients, clearly shows great advantages here.
It is a fertilisation method that makes maximum use of foliar feed. Due to the high CEC of the leaf, the plant can absorb a large amount of nutrients. And because nutrients are brought directly to the leaf, there’s reduced need for fertilisers – reductions of up to 90% – whilst still maintaining the quantity and quality of the harvest. Chances are you’ll meet the EU standard before 2030.
Ecomethod as a certified solution for sustainable production
In order to avoid greenwashing (**), we have been working closely with 2A Group, a consultancy firm. These experts in sustainable development carried out a study in 2019, comparing the ecological footprint of different fertilisation methods and the related CO2eq emissions. For this purpose, we have carried out trials on various crops: apple, hazelnut and wine growing.
What’s the outcome?
This study proves that you can achieve a significant reduction of CO2 emissions with the foliar fertilization programs of BMS Micro-Nutrients. Several tests show reductions of 25% with partial leaf applications, up to 98% in the case of total foliar nutrition.
Ecomethod improves environmental performance thanks to reduced use of fertilizers, a reduction in CO2 emissions and at the same time ensures a good and high-quality harvest. We will publish more details about the examples of CO2 reductions on our website.
The indicated CO2 savings were calculated on the basis of a comparative LCA study carried out by 2A GROUP and audited by the independent certification body Rina Services
Carbon footprint as a guide for producers and consumers
The European recovery plan has emphasised it already: a clear food label that mentions the reduction of CO2 emissions promotes the purchase of sustainable products. The choices we make at the table have a major impact on climate change. Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of this and want to make well-considered choices, as was the conclusion of a study carried out in 2018 on Nature Climate Change (*). Eco-labels will allow us to help them make that choice.
The food manufacturer distinguishes itself by mentioning its carbon footprint and thus clearly indicates the efforts it has made to contribute to a better environment.
Legislation is moving in this direction: anyone who anticipates now – instead of waiting and then having to adapt – is ahead of the competition.
When do you start with Ecomethod?
Sustainable production should not be a commercial, green slogan, but well-founded processes that are measured and controlled. Soon, your sustainability efforts will become a prerequisite for staying on the market and growing as a producer. In addition, future agricultural policy will grant premiums to producers who can demonstrate CO2 savings.
Our certified tool calculates the exact CO2 savings you could achieve when fertilising your crop by gradually switching to foliar nutrition, while maintaining a high-quality harvest. Contact us for a simulation of your savings and no-obligation advice: email@example.com
(*) “Consumers underestimate the emissions associated with food but are aided by labels”, pubblished December 2018 in Nature Climate Change by Adrian Camilleri from University of Technology Sydney and Richard Larrick, Shajuti Hossain and Dalia Patino Echeverri from Duke University
(**) Greenwashing is when a company or organisation tries to appear greener or more socially responsible than they actually are. They pretend to treat the environment with care, but this often turns out to be nothing more than ‘a lick of paint’.