Climate Terms of Reference

(Updated Nov. 12, 2020)

GHG Working group: Chair Tim Hardman with Pete Garbutt as co-chair and supported by Josefina Eisele

This is GRSB’s forum for discussion on GHGs. This group is open to all members.

Scope to include:

  • Discussion and development of position papers on GHG emissions, carbon stores and sequestration
  • Consideration of projects to be undertaken by GRSB / members
  • Review of goals
  • Review and dissemination of scientific advice from the GHG Science Advisory Group
  • Provide update to board on activities of this group and the GHG Science Advisory Committee

2. GHG Science Advisory Committee: Chair Brenna Grant, with Admin support from GRSB staff for all logistics, etc.

This is a group of GRSB members and volunteers from the scientific and academic community that can evaluate scientific reports / positions and provide guidance. The membership can be fluid – I.e., experts in particular fields may be requested to provide ad hoc input.

Scope to include:

  • Providing advice to the GHG Working Group on the merits of methodologies, metrics, measurement and reporting
  • Responding to specific requests from the GHG Working Group for clarification of scientific positions, for use in e.g. position papers
  • Advice on formulation of research priorities

3. Goals Drafting Group: Chair Ian McConnel, supported as required by GRSB staff.

By invitation, the Goals Drafting Group, is a smaller group drawn from the Goal Working Group and the GHG Working Group to draft and edit the GRSB goal on GHGs. This group will collaborate with the main GHG Working Group and incorporate feedback after significant revisions, and will report to the Goals Working Group, and serve as Liaison with CBI.



The Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB) have established a Working Group on Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) from beef production to provide direction for the organisation on the impact of beef on climate. As part of this group, several sub-groups have been established focused on directing GRSB activity on general accounting and methodology, sequestration and land use change.

This group has been convened as an ongoing forum, not to report by a specific deadline. This document outlines the terms of reference for the sub-group on sequestration to serve as a guide for its work in 2020 and beyond.


In spring of 2019, the GRSB commissioned a Phase 1 GHG report to assess the main areas of difference between approaches to calculating on farm GHG impacts from beef production across the world. This report made several recommendations for GRSB to take action to provide clarity and direction for stakeholders involved in the beef industry and GHG accounting.

One of these areas was in regard to the impact of carbon sequestration.

The report states:

“There is no agreement on integrating estimates of soil carbon sequestration. The lack of consistency in implementation and methodology is a major gap since carbon sequestration on grazing lands can have a large impact on the GHG footprint of beef. The beef sector has special interest to ensure that there are appropriate carbon sequestration values available for extensively grazed grasslands.”

The GRSB network has a huge interest in improving the ability for beef farming systems to both sequester increased amounts of carbon and to demonstrate the amount of carbon that is being sequestered in a way that can be accounted for.

This will contribute to the ability for roundtables to demonstrate progress on future GRSB strategic climate goals and for us all to talk positively about the role that beef production can play in tackling climate change.


The sub-group work will focus on issues relating to the capture and storage of carbon by beef farming systems. It will work closely with the other GRSB GHG sub-groups focused on accounting methodologies and land use change with the direction of activity coordinated by the GRSB GHG Working Group.

The objectives of the sequestration sub group are to:

  • Provide a forum for global and regional stakeholders to discuss the opportunities of sequestration in beef systems across the world.
  • Collate details on existing activities, understand their use and implications and share this knowledge across the GRSB network in relation to:
    • Carbon accounting work relating to sequestration from agricultural activities
      • LCA approaches used in scientific studies and tools.
      • Inventory and project based approaches which can be used in supply chains and at organizational and country level.
    • Studies, initiatives, practices and frameworks which aim to improve the ability for farmers to sequester carbon through grazing, silvopastoral systems and cropping practices
    • Country and supply chain led activities aimed at enabling the generation of carbon credits from beef farming systems.
  • Develop GRSB positions on the implications of these activities for members across the world and recommendations for GRSB involvement or future action.
  • Actively contribute, not replicate existing initiatives in this area, providing accessible descriptions for GRSB members, sharing this insight across the GRSB network and ensuring GRSB is represented through our membership.
  • Assess any gaps in activity and scope projects with GRSB membership and others to enable the beef industry to make progress.


Members of the sub-group have initially been identified through the GRSB GHG Working Group consultation process. We welcome broader participation from the wider GRSB membership through and will be consulting widely with regional roundtables to ensure we gain an understanding of the landscape of activities in relation to sequestration.

Sub-group membership
Pete Garbutt (co-lead) [email protected]
Josefina Eisele (co-lead) [email protected]
Sophie Gaulter [email protected]
Ashley McDonald [email protected]
Florencia Ricard [email protected]
Ernesto Viglizzo [email protected]
Andrea Munoz Ardila [email protected]
Argentinian Secretariat [email protected]
Jenny O’Sullivan [email protected]

The Sequestration sub-group is co-led by Pete Garbutt (McDonald’s) and Josefina Eisele (GRSB) who are responsible for ensuring that the work of the sub-group is aligned with the GRSB strategy on climate, and that resources are utilized as effectively as possible toward their aims and objectives.

The intention is for monthly calls with email contribution required in between calls. Members are expected to communicate with members, regional roundtables and external parties in their area of the world to build our collective knowledge.

External scientific or specialist technical support to assess projects will be scoped once a list of projects has been compiled.