VVT’s calculation shows that the carbon footprint of Finnish HK Ehta beef is 8.2 kg CO2e per kilo of animal’s live weight*. The European average carbon footprint of beef is 12.6 kg CO2e per kilo of live weight**, so in terms of climate, the Finnish beef is clearly a better choice. Thanks to the carbon footprint calculation, we know the major emission sources of beef production and continue our work to reduce climate impacts. 

VTT specialists calculated the carbon footprint of HKScan’s Finnish beef from the field to the plant gate based on the data provided by four Finnish HK Ehta contract farmers. The calculation is based on international IPCC guidelines and ISO standardised life cycle assessment.

– On a European scale, the carbon footprint of Finnish HK Ehta beef is small and we continue our work to reduce the climate impact of meat production together with our farmers. Sustainably produced Finnish meat tastes good and can be eaten with a clear conscience. In shops and in restaurants, choosing the Finnish alternative is always worth it, says Mikko Järvinen, VP Red Meat Business, HKScan Finland.

Improving the carbon sequestration of fields reduces the carbon footprint of beef

HKScan has worked closely with contract farmers for over a hundred years. Internationally small carbon footprint of HKScan’s Finnish HK Ehta beef is an indication of long-term work for the environment.

The carbon footprint includes the climate impacts related to the animal and its farming, such as feed, manure system, energy, litter, digestion and transportation. In beef production, the most significant emissions are caused by feed and digestion of cattle, totalling about 70 per cent of carbon footprints. The Finnish cattle mainly eat grass feed, which reduces the climate impacts of meat.

– Our goal is carbon-neutral meat production. To achieve this goal, we need to have a thorough understanding of the environmental impact of meat production, and only then, we will be able to systematically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Calculating the carbon footprint is a complex process, in which we succeeded together with VTT and our contract farmers, says Ulf Jahnsson, HKScan’s VP Strategic development primary production.

In the Agrofood Ecosystem® model developed by HKScan, the sustainability of meat production is further developed with the help of the latest research data and data collected from pilot farms. Agrofood Ecosystem increases the transparency of food production and provides tools to reduce environmental impacts and to improve productivity.

– This summer, we are exploring the ability of grass to bind carbon in order to better understand the positive environmental impacts of agriculture.  Improving the carbon-sequestration and productivity of fields are ways to reduce the carbon footprint of beef, says Jahnsson.

* The calculation is based on the latest ISO-standardised methods and IPCC’s calculation guidelines, and the results are given in mass allocated kg CO2e/kg live weight. The calculation takes into account the carbon footprint of beef production from the field to the plant gate. In addition to carbon dioxide, the carbon footprint contains methane and nitrous oxide converted to carbon dioxide equivalents.

** The European average has been calculated from the VTT’s study commissioned by HKScan. The study included 19 international studies on the carbon footprint of beef from 2015 to 2018, covering  several different production methods.


Further information:

HKScan Corporation, Ulf Jahnsson, tel. +358 400 784 193, VP Strategic development primary production, ulf.jahnsson@hkscan.com
HKScan Media Service Desk, tel. +358 10 570 5700, communications@hkscan.com

HKScan’s target is to grow into a versatile food company. With over 100 years of experience, we make tasty, healthy and responsibly produced food responding to the needs of consumers and customers. For us at HKScan, responsibility includes the development of food production throughout the value chain, from farms to consumers. Our home markets cover Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the Baltics. Our nearly 7,000 HKScan professionals ensure tastier life - today and tomorrow. Our diverse product portfolio includes poultry, pork and beef, as well as meat products and meals. Our strong brands are HK®, Kariniemen®, Via®, Scan®, Pärsons®, Rakvere®, Tallegg® and Rose®.  In 2019, net sales of the publicly listed HKScan totalled EUR 1.7 billion.