A new methane emissions reduction methodology has been developed in the US which is aimed at beef producers.

Global food corporation, Cargill has partnered with TREES Consulting to develop a Gold Standard-approved beef methodology.

It reportedly offers the global beef industry a framework for measuring methane emissions reduction using feed supplements that have been incorporated into beef cattle diets.

Methane emissions

Gold Standard’s certification process allows climate and sustainable development initiatives to quantify, manage and maximise their impacts toward climate security, and requires verifiable impact toward three or more of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The new beef methodology defines a set of parameters that beef producers can adopt to quantify reductions in methane emissions, a greenhouse gas (GHG) that is derived from enteric fermentation (digestion process) in cattle through eructation (burping), as well as from manure handling.

According to the company, the new methodology is now available for beef producers worldwide to quantify, audit and verify methane reductions, enabling them to register their GHG mitigation project for Gold Standard certification.

Gold Standard’s Verified Emissions Reductions (VERs) can be traded in carbon markets, allowing credit purchasers to directly support the projects.

Cargill has said that these efforts can also be recognised in corporate value chains, whereby beef producers and food companies account for the reduction in supply chain GHG emissions, which contributes to their Scope 3 targets.


Through its Reach4Reduction programme, Cargill said that it is taking a holistic approach to methane reduction by uncovering the potential of feed management and nutrition to do more with less, helping to ensure food security while protecting the planet.

The company said that it is working to accelerate progress by supporting producers with managing on-farm productivity to improve feed conversion rates, optimising animal health and nutrition, and innovating with new additives and solutions that reduce methane and nitrogen emissions directly.

For beef producers who are adopting these technologies, the new methodology ‘Reducing Methane Emissions from Enteric Fermentation in Beef Cattle through Application of Feed Supplements’ will enable them to accurately quantify the reduction of methane emissions and can provide them with opportunities to add value to their efforts.

Joanne Sharpe, Cargill’s global ruminant sustainability lead said: “We know that the industry is looking for more accurate tools to measure methane reduction.

“As producers look at their current levels of production efficiency and work toward sustainability goals, we are committed to finding ways to ensure they can be recognised and rewarded for their efforts.”

Margaret Kim, CEO, Gold Standard added: “Changing agricultural practice can help reduce methane emissions, and this new methodology provides beef producers with a way to reliably measure the impact of those changes.

“Cargill’s support is helping pave the way for the animal agriculture industry to reduce methane emissions and it complements Gold Standard’s other efforts to reduce the impact of agriculture on our planet – such as our recently published methodology which reduces the methane emitted by rice production.”


In practice, projects using the new methodology first establish a baseline for emissions during “business as usual” activities for a minimum of three continuous years.

The cattle given feed supplements must be clearly identified and tracked over the course of the project.

The project crediting period is set at five years, and can be renewed for an additional five years, excluding the baseline years.

“We were thrilled to collaborate on the development of the methodology, which will provide the beef industry with an important framework for advancing methane reduction,” Martin Gehrig, TREES Consulting added.

Gold Standard was established in 2003 by Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and other international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as a best practice standard to help the world #GrowToZero.

All Gold Standard-certified projects and programmes accelerate progress toward the net-zero ambition of the Paris Climate Agreement.