QUEENSLAND beef producer Goondicum Pastoral Co has received certification for its first environmental account, measuring the health of the company’s natural capital as part of the recently launched nature accounting framework.
Gondicum Pastoral Co is Australia’s first family-run grazing business to complete a self-verified Tier 2 environmental account using the framework.
The standard is designed to protect the integrity and quality of brand claims regarding environmental management practices.
Owners Robert and Nadia Campbell run a herd of grass-fed, EU accredited Brangus cattle at the head of the Burnett River near Monto.
In a statement, the managing director of Accounting for Nature Dr Adrian Ward said the Goondicum environmental account certification showed considerable commitment to the company’s growing conservation credentials and should be highly valued for adopting transparent and credible practices,
To achieve successful certification, the environmental account must undergo activities such as adhering to strict guidelines and processes, adopting and specifying relevant natural asset class methods such as soil, native vegetation and native wildlife that are independently accredited. A group of leading scientists constitute the Accreditation Committee for Accounting for the Natural Sciences, Dr Ward said.
“The framework offers a tiered certification system to provide an easily identifiable label to support sponsor claims and protect the integrity and quality of the standard,” he said.
As part of its self-verified Tier 2 certification, Gondicum will be required to update its environmental account at least every five years. Ongoing reporting and measurement will track changes in the health of the environment and inform ongoing certification.
Gondicum worked with sustainability experts listed in Accounting for Nature’s Register of Accredited Experts to complete their environmental account milestone and identify benchmark results.
Dr Ward said Nature’s Accounting Framework offered a single scoring scale from 0 to 100 that simplified the complexity of reporting changes in the state of the environment.
“This rating scale called ‘E-cond’, which is combined with a ‘P-cond’ to determine the increase in productivity, is assigned a level of confidence that is the result of the collective knowledge of decades of robust development by leading scientific and community members, and this is what sets the Accounting for Nature standard apart from other standards, said Dr. Ward.
Nadia Campbell, co-director of Goondicum Pastoral, said conservation in agriculture was a critical path for the future, and that adopting environmental accounting into her company’s practices helped improve outcomes for the environment, as well as to increase productivity and support the demands of export markets, in particular within the European market.
“Undertaking the Environmental Account has quantified our ability to demonstrate that a sustainable grazing enterprise can operate alongside a healthy ecosystem,” she said.
“It also allows us to lead a conversation and educate others about improving business, not at the expense of the environment.”
“It has provided better disclosure of our operations and aligns with our values by ensuring that natural capital is valued in our business transactions, within the wider economy and ensures that we can leave a proud legacy for future generations. “said Ms. Campbell.
Accounting for Nature is a not-for-profit company that provides a scientifically rigorous standard for creating transparent and credible environmental accounts.
Nature’s Accounting Framework is an internally recognized environmental accounting standard that can be used by any government, organization, or individual, who wishes to understand whether actions enhance or degrade natural capital.
Information on the Gondicum environmental account can be viewed at Accounting for Nature’s Register of environmental accounts here
A copy of the Account Summary and Goondicum Station Information Statement can be requested at Gondicum Pastoral Co website
Source: Accounting for Nature