Athian announced the establishment of voluntary livestock carbon insetting marketplace, with the first accepted protocol aimed at reducing enteric methane emissions and improving feed utilization by using feed management products from Elanco Animal Health. The company says this new carbon marketplace creates an opportunity for farmers to monetize their greenhouse gas emission reductions. 

Athian is verifying its first farms and creating, certifying and selling carbon credits within the dairy value chain. The company says that this means: 

  • Dairy farmers of all sizes now have the opportunity to implement on-farm sustainability interventions, measure the impact and participate in third-party verification for their greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The resulting carbon credits can be offered for sale in Athian’s livestock carbon insetting marketplace.
  • Companies in the dairy value chain (such as consumer-packaged goods companies and food retailers) can then purchase those carbon credits as contributions toward achieving their Scope 3 emissions reduction goals.
  • With the purchase of these credits, economic value is returned to the farmer via the sale while supporting the U.S. dairy industry progress toward their own environmental commitments of greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050.
  • Over the long term, this marketplace will expand to other livestock and poultry. 

“Athian’s first carbon credits for dairy are an exciting and crucial step as they demonstrate the ability to tangibly quantify and verify greenhouse gas emissions reductions and create monetary value for farmers for their efforts,” says Paul Myer, CEO of Athian. “This marketplace, specifically designed for the animal protein industry, is different than traditional offsetting carbon marketplaces because it keeps the value—economic value as well as positive environmental value—in the animal protein value chain.” 

Only 3% of farmers are participating in these markets today, according to a recent survey cited by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Creating an inset market model that works with recognized supply chain partners makes it easier for farmers to measure and implement rigorous verifications, will help break these barriers to entry and accelerate progress.  

The company says that food companies and retailers have made public commitments to collectively reduce more than 100 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Despite the progress in corporate target-setting, the reduction of Scope 3 emissions, which typically come from the production of raw materials like milk, has been a significant challenge. The creation of Athian’s insetting livestock carbon credit marketplace provides companies in the animal protein value chain the opportunity to make meaningful progress toward their Scope 3 greenhouse gas reduction goals.