How EcoPractices® Helps Scale Conservation
August 25, 2020
Sustainability risk management starts with identifying and understanding risks and opportunities associated with value chain emissions. On-farm and in-field management play a role in setting reduction targets and tracking performance around all partners and parties for supply chain activities essential for greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting. With our EcoPractices platform®, Sustainable Environmental Consultants (SEC) provides third-party verification and quantification that fulfills the guidelines of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol for assessing Scope 3 emissions.
GHG target and reporting needs differ by company and require an adaptable process to easily track and account for on-farm and in-field management. With the ability to support both food company and producer, the EcoPractices platform is flexible and offers support across the supply chain. Data integrity is central to our process at SEC. We follow the best practices for GHG protocols, assessing a number of indicators spatially and temporally to benchmark and track progress. The collection and evaluation of data is a process we pride ourselves on.
EcoPractices has a unique process built around collecting in-field data indicators, verifying data points to increase data quality, and quantifying environmental performance with USDA/NRCS models that results in a full suite of reporting outcomes. Built with scale in mind, EcoPractices maintains data integrity needed to advance our clients’ company level sustainability commitments expressed by Scope 3 GHG impacts. The EcoPractices quantification process is performed on a per soil type basis, spatially explicit, and aggregated at different scales to deliver results that meet or exceed standards being established for scope 3 reporting as outlined by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
The Environmental Policy Innovation Center released a report earlier this year on the role and importance that data technology plays in accelerating conservation in agriculture. “There is growing corporate demand for solutions that help the private sector meet ambitious sustainability goals, including reducing their carbon footprint, building healthy soil and engaging in regenerative agriculture.” The report highlights our work with Danone North America, a leading global consumer packaged goods company, on their soil health initiatives, launched in 2018, marking their investment in regenerative agriculture. This past fall, SEC was awarded the Innovation Award for 2019 from Danone for our work on their holistic programs, with the focus on more than just carbon.
SEC closely monitors data points such as crop type, yield estimates, tillage practices, and presence as well as percent take of cover crops. To support scale and best-in-class value-added outcomes for grower participants SEC partnered with FluroSat and TerrAvion to develop proof of concept tools to illustrate scaling capability in generating sustainable practice metrics. The partnership leverages the insights provided by high-resolution TerrAvion imagery and marketing leading FluroSense analytics. SEC sees this as a critical component to scale environmental performance and providing a unique service offering in the sustainability quantification marketplace.
The EcoPractices process doesn’t stop at delivering raw outcomes for our clients. We offer ongoing support services as well as provide our Sustainable Continuous Improvement Plan™ (SCIP). SCIP is a custom-built plan to advance conservation practices, both big and small, by providing a tailored menu of practice intervention options. As farmers engage the SCIP plan, year-on-year insights can be gained about the impact of the interventions and provides our clients with metrics to share their story of continuous improvement and their commitment to sustainability.
About Sustainable Environmental Consultants
Established in 2008, Sustainable Environmental Consultants is part of the Wright Service Corp. employee-owned family of companies. Since its inception, SEC has endeavored to be a leader in providing innovative solutions to better the planet through sustainability risk management, third-party data reporting and verification, and agricultural compliance and engineering. We provide a full range of environmental services needed by food companies and their agriculture supply systems. To learn more, visit www.sustainableenviro.com.