Alberto Herranz, director of the Pork Interprofessional of Capa Blanca (Interporc), outlined the importance of the issue. “The Spanish pig sector is aware that the planet has a climatic emergency and among all we must put solutions. We are making great progress in the fight against climate change, but we know that we must redouble our efforts, and we do it, to continue moving forward with the rest of the economic and productive sectors.”
At a meeting held in Madrid in the framework of the World Climate Summit (COP25) Herranz stressed that “the livestock sector in general, and the pig in particular, have much to say in the fight against climate change since we work every day in open environments and we are the first ones interested in good management and care of the territory in which we have developed our activity for centuries”.
During the meeting he stated that “if we measured the environmental impact by managed territory, or employment, we would undoubtedly be a great example to follow, and in fact we are in terms of investment and innovation to reduce the environmental impact of our activity”.
Herranz also detailed some of the main advances of the sector in terms of sustainability, such as a 30% decrease in the use of water per kilo of meat produced. “Currently the total water consumed per year by the sector is about 54 hm3, which represents only 0.05% of the total water available in Spain. And we continue to implement measures and innovate to further reduce what is known as the water footprint.”
On the issue of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), Herranz said “the weight of the pig sector on the whole of national GHG emissions is only 2%, much lower than what sometimes public opinion is believed”.
“Spanish farmers apply techniques to reduce GHG emissions, and thanks to this we have reduced ammonia emissions by 47% per kilo of meat produced, by 38% nitrous oxide emissions and by 14% by GHG emissions for the management of manure.”
Herranz also referred to other advances in the sector, such as energy efficiency. He recalled that in Spain pig farms operate that are supplied by renewable energy and another large majority have made significant investments in aspects such as improvements in the insulation of buildings; the regulation of air conditioning equipment; efficient lighting; tightness of the ships; or implantation of windproof vegetable barriers.
He concluded by saying that the fight against climate change is a real commitment of the sector, which through the Interprofessional is part of the Spanish Network of the United Nations Global Compact for the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and is already actively working on seven of those Objectives, including number 13, Climate Action.