12 Jan 2010 11:01:09
Burger chain tackles cow carbon emissions
A major research project into cow flatulence is being launched by McDonald's in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.
The burger chain is working with rural consultancy Eco2Project to trial new farming methods and audit carbon emissions across the 350 farms used by the chain in the UK and Ireland.
Government figures reveal that livestock emissions are responsible for four percent of the UK's carbon footprint. McDonald's currently uses around 3,500 cattle a year.
It was calculated in 2006 that producing a single cheeseburger results in emissions of approximately 3.1kg of carbon dioxide.
Eco2Project director Peter Darlington said: "There has been a lot of discussion and speculation about the greenhouse gas emissions associated with livestock production.
"This model will for the first time bring transparent data from real farms to accurately inform that debate."
The results, due in April, will be of interest to the beef industry which was told last week by the government to lower carbon emissions and institute energy-efficient methods of farming.http://tinyurl.com/yd8bhlv