Agricultural sustainability is a key issue in the U.S. and across the globe. Agriculture grows food essential for supporting human life and employs one out of three people across the globe. Yet at the same time, agriculture is accountable for 20% of global carbon emissions and is one of the largest global threats to biodiversity and water quality through habitat conversion and pollution
As our global population continues to grow, we need to find ways to feed the world, while efficiently using natural resources and without compromising livelihoods and rural communities.
The use of environmental sustainability indicators is one strategy that farm managers can use to help address these concerns.
WHAT WE DO:
We are working with Hancock Agriculture Investment Group (HAIG), one of the largest institutional agriculture investors of U.S. farmland, to create a comprehensive set of indicators for measuring and managing for environmental sustainability on their 290,000 acres of diverse farmland across the U.S.
HOW WE WORK:
From our previous agriculture work, we understand that farmers already manage farmland using sustainability indicators, whether they know it or not. Working alongside HAIG farm managers, we have catalogued the indicators that they currently use. This initial assessment highlighted the gaps in HAIG’s indicator set. The remaining work will focus on working closely with HAIG to ensure that it has a complete set of environmental sustainability indicators at its disposal.
The success of the project requires that environmental indicators be proven useful for guiding farm management, help achieve management goals through continuous improvement, and address stakeholder and supply chain concerns about agricultural sustainability. Through field testing and working directly with the farm managers, the indicators will provide practical solutions that have the potential to create long lasting change and help HAIG make its contribution toward sustainability and feeding the planet while addressing the concerns of its investors and its supply chains.