The problem: Why we must protect ecosystems
With a growing global population and rising affluence, the appetite for meat is growing. Vast stretches of farmland are needed for feed production, highlighting the need for greater sustainable livestock farming solutions to protect ecosystems. Supplementing low-protein animal feed with amino acids helps making livestock production more efficient and protects natural resources.
We have a finite amount of arable land and freshwater available on the planet. But we are already using the vast majority for agriculture: about one third of all the arable land on earth is used just to grow feed crops for animals, and a quarter of global freshwater is used in meat and dairy production.
Increasing demand for animal protein means that more and more land will be needed to grow these crops, more land will be at risk of deforestation, and more water will be needed to irrigate them.
The problem is not just on land, but in our oceans too. Like meat production, aquaculture is also reliant on natural resources for feed. Currently, producing one kilogram of salmon requires more than a kilogram of wild fish in the form of fishmeal and fish oil.
To protect our ecosystems, we must work together to find new ways to produce more food while using less land and water.
Our solutions: Protect ecosystems through more efficient land use, saving water, and safeguarding marine biodiversity
At Evonik we are pleased to support regionally produced protein and deforestation-free supply chains, which is of even greater importance following commitments made at COP26 to ‘halt and reverse’ deforestation by 2030.
Evonik amino acid supplements enhance the quality of animal feeds, so less feed is needed to supply the essential nutrients that animals need. That means less land is needed to produce the feed, and so the pressure to convert natural land to arable use is reduced and we protect ecosystems. And by using fewer crops, we also reduce the amount of water required in the production process.
For example, by applying our balanced protein concepts we could be using 6 percent less land for pig production in Europe. It all adds up: in 2019, Evonik solutions theoretically reduced arable land usage by 591,000 hectares.*
Evonik is protecting life below water, too. Our aquaculture solutions enable feeds that are free from fish meal and fish oil, and thus avoid the overfishing that substantially endangers marine biodiversity.
*These findings are based on lifecycle assessment (LCA) calculations, assessing the sustainability impacts of Evonik’s best practice amino acid products in pork, broiler, and egg production. The calculations were independently certified by TÜV Rheinland which provides comprehensive inspection, testing, verification, and certification services around the world.