Climate Terms of Reference

Climate Working Group – Terms of Reference (Updated August 9, 2023)

Co-chairs: Samantha Werth and Brenna Grant


GRSB’s forum for discussion on implementing the Climate goal.

Membership of the wider working group is open to all GRSB members, and in the development of any documents or projects, the wider working group will be informed and consulted. The co-chairs will select a smaller representative group of experts for the purpose of drafting documents, projects, and proposals, referred to as the core group. The co-chairs will schedule separate meetings of the core group and to inform and consult with the wider group as appropriate.

Two main streams of work:
1. Data related to our goals tracking
2. Implementation of strategies to help successfully meet our goals

Scope includes:
• Provide update to board on activities of the working group
• Providing advice on the merits of methodologies, metrics, measurement and reporting
• Responding to specific requests for clarification of scientific positions, for use in position papers
• Discussion and development of position papers on GHG emissions, carbon stores and sequestration
• Advice on formulation of research priorities
• Consideration of projects to be undertaken by GRSB / members
• Review of goals

In February 2022, the GRSB launched their Beef Carbon Footprint Methodology. This provided a standardized approach to Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) for monitoring greenhouse gras (GHG) and carbon-related goals. It addressed allocation questions and provided guidance on reporting all three GHGs separately, to allow for both Global Warming Potential, GWP-100 and GWP* comparisons. In addition, GRSB has a Metrics Fact Sheet, which outlines how different metrics are suited for different goals and should be used accordingly.

Accounting – Priority for 2023/24
There are several outstanding questions about how GHG’s will be accounted for through various standards and at different levels in the supply chain. As conversations around offset and inset carbon markets advances, clarity is needed for the various actors within the supply chain. GRSB is initiating an “Accounting principles and criteria” project with scoping to occur in the third quarter of 2023. Questions, priorities and solutions are expected to be different for the various stakeholders (e.g. Science Based Targets initiative commitments vs. not, banks vs. retail/foodservice/packers).

Aggregation, Baseline Report and Monitoring
The Global Livestock Environmental Assessment Model (GLEAM) is a Geographic Information System (GIS) framework that simulates the bio-physical processes and activities along livestock supply chains under a life cycle assessment approach. The aim of GLEAM is to quantify production and use of natural resources in the livestock sector and to identify environmental impacts of livestock. This contributes to the assessment of adaptation and mitigation scenarios to move towards a more sustainable livestock sector.

The GRSB Climate working group is meeting with GLEAM developers to understand the capability and data limitations of this model for reporting. The current version 3, is based on 2015 data with a version 4 using 2020 data to be released in 2023. To use GLEAM for the GRSB baseline there would need to be both global and regional carbon intensity estimates, aggregated for GRSB membership countries, with reporting on total emissions and a weighted average emissions intensity.