Animal health company Elanco announced today the launch of new tools aimed at advancing U.S livestock sustainability efforts, including an analytics engine to assess the carbon footprint of cattle operations, and the launch of Athian, a new company aimed at helping the cattle industry capture and claim carbon credits.

Agriculture has emerged as a major focus area for climate action, as the sector accounts for a significant proportion of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and among the most difficult areas to address climate impact. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, total emissions from global livestock represent 14.5% of all anthropogenic GHG emissions. Elanco has pledged to help its customers reach net zero emissions through four key areas, which include Innovation, Analytics, Value Creation and Reputation Narrative. According to Elanco, the new resources represent the progress the company has made in both Analytics and Value Creation initiatives.

Dr. Sara Place, Chief Sustainability officer at Elanco, said:

“We are excited to start to turn our commitments into action. This is the first step in a long-term commitment to learn and collaborate with our customers’ as we navigate this new frontier of opportunity, while helping to make a significant difference for our world.”

Elanco’s new analytics tool, UpLook, is designed to predict GHG emissions and identify key drivers of an operation’s footprint, providing producers with a baseline of their current stewardship efforts. According to the company, this established baseline and tracking of progress is the first step to certification and monetization of carbon reduction for producers. Elanco stated that initial pilots of the system are beginning with cattle feeders and availability is expected in the second quarter.

Athian, created in partnership with venture studio High Alpha Innovation, is designed help the cattle industry capture and claim carbon credits earned through sustainability efforts where possible by validating and certifying GHG reductions and carbon capture from services like UpLook.  The company is expected to aggregate data for producers and create a carbon credit marketplace to monetize and capture value from sustainability efforts. According to Elanco, Athian could help farmers and ranchers keep this value within the food system so that carbon credits do not flow out of the food chain to other industries.

Paul Myer, CEO of Athian, said:

“We are pleased to partner with Elanco and other thought leaders in the livestock production value chain as we launch Athian to certify, aggregate and monetize carbon credits. Our partnership enables farmers and ranchers to fund sustainability projects that will enable the industry to reach their Net Zero emissions targets.”

Elanco is also launching Leave it Better, an initiative inspired by the desire of farmers and ranchers to leave their land, livestock and business better than before, which will serve as an overarching program for the company’s cattle sustainability outreach. The program will include producer education, innovation, and partnerships.

Jeff Simmons, President and CEO of Elanco Animal Health, said:

“We believe environmental sustainability is the next era of opportunity for livestock production. We have to empower our farmers and ranchers with innovation, tools and insights to help them create value and make a difference on these societal issues. We cannot solve these global challenges this fast any other way. We need innovation. We need better regulatory pathways to speed adoption. We need common metrics and an ability to measure progress.”