Risk factors

Greenhouse gas emissions

Climate change is both a risk and a vulnerability for the livestock and farmed fish sectors but the majority of listed companies are not managing this risk.

Key stats

of companies, valued at $222 billion with $138 billion in revenues, are categorised as 'high risk' on this issue.

Livestock supply chains account for 14.5% of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The biggest sources of emissions are enteric fermentation from cattle, feed production and manure storage.

Further, the sector is extremely vulnerable to a changing climate. According to The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “industrial systems will suffer most from indirect impacts,” including increased costs of water, feed, and infrastructure damage due to extreme weather events.

We’re already seeing examples of companies experiencing material financial losses from climate change impacts. In 2018-2019, Australian Agricultural Company suffered losses of over $100 million, partially due to extreme weather events (flooding) in Queensland. In addition to damage to properties, the company lost 43,000 heads of cattle (half the herd on four affected farms) for a value of $32 million. Further, the company’s cost of production increased by 46% due increased feeding and transport costs resulting from drought.

We assess whether companies have comprehensive Scope 1 + 2 +3 targets, are disclosing the largest sources of emissions within their GHG inventories and demonstrating absolute emissions decrease year-on-year.


  • 18% of companies have a target to reduce over two-thirds of their Scope 1 and 2 emissions.
  • 1st New Zealand-based dairy producer, Fonterra, is the top performing company on GHG emissions.
  • 69% of beef companies – the most carbon intensive protein – are categorised as ‘high risk’ on addressing climate change.