Industry Focus

Greenhouse Gases

The Australian pork industry only accounts for approx 0.4% of the national Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions which is significantly lower than other Australian livestock sectors such a beef (11.2%), sheep (3.4) and dairy (2.7%).

Most of the GHG associated with pork production relate to emissions from effluent ponds. In fact approx 66% of the pork supply chain is made up of effluent pond emissions. This provides us with a fantastic opportunity for GHG reductions of up to 80%. For further information see the Renewable Energy – Biogas page.

Even without mitigation Australian pork production is at the lower end (conventional) or better (deep litter) than international carbon footprints for pork. Adding long distance refrigerated transport can further add to the emissions profile and subsequent global impacts of imported pork.

The Australian pork Industry has set its self a goal to reduce emissions on farm to 1kg CO2 eq per kg pork produced.

Mitigating and utilising our waste from energy will see Australian production become the most environmental friendly in terms of global warming potential worldwide.

For further information download the Nutrients and Greenhouse Gas Fact Sheet and the Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Piggeries Fact Sheet.


PigGas Calculator

The Pork Industry Greenhouse Gas (PigGas) Calculator provides pork producers with a tool to calculate their piggery enterprise emissions and identify ways in which to reduce them.

The calculator models the emissions from any piggery production and manure management system combination using the methodology and calculation protocols developed by the Australian Government for its international reporting obligations. To download PigGas, click on the link below.

PigGas is a graphical spreadsheet calculator programmed in Microsoft Excel 2010. The user must have the Microsoft Excel 2010 or later version program loaded on their computer for PigGas to run. No technical support or help is provided by Australian Pork Limited to PigGas users. For background information and help, please refer to the ‘PigGas User Guide’ link below.


PigGas Studies

PigGas was used in a National Extension Project funded by Ian Kruger Consulting, the Australian Government and Australian Pork Limited. Baseline greenhouse gas emissions and emissions intensities were calculated on 55 piggeries representing 24% of Australia’s pork production. Emissions abatement strategies were also modelled for each piggery.

Typically, reducing feed wastage or increasing feeding efficiency by 5%, resulted in about a 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Modifying existing waste treatment and reuse systems could result in 15-25% emissions reductions. Housing pigs in deep litter pig sheds resulted in about 40% lower emissions compared with housing in conventional flushed sheds.

Maximum emissions abatement was found in conventional piggeries that treated manure in covered anaerobic ponds or tank digesters. These digesters capture and burn biogas methane to generate electricity for farm use and sales to the grid. In these cases, 75-84% of total on-farm greenhouse gas emissions could be mitigated and the emissions intensities fell from a calculated average of 4 to below 1 kilogram of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents per kilogram of pork produced.

Total on-farm emissions calculated from 24% pork production was 260,480 t CO2-e /y with potential abatement of 54% or 141,230 t CO2-e/y. On a whole industry basis, the maximum potential abatement is approximately 588,500 t/y. Baseline on-farm emissions intensities averaged 3.9 (0.3-16.7) kg CO2-e / kg HSCW with average potential abatement of 51% (0-84)% for all piggeries.

Applying emissions reduction options can lead to cost savings in feed or energy, improved manure management or new income streams from trading Australian Carbon Credit Units and electricity.

Individual ‘PigGas Reports’ and a ‘Summary of 55 PigGas Reports’ are provided in the links below.

To download, please click the links below: