Alltech One Ideas Conference: “Net zero is not enough”

It was one of the late Dr. Pearse Lyons’ main life mantras, “Don’t do it right”. Go for it’. And the last edition of the Alltech One Ideas conference continued in this spirit.

Mark Lyons: “My father was right! It’s not about perfectionism; it is about progress. If we change the goal and the way we look at things, we can change the way we think.

By exchanging their ideas, the speakers definitely offered a new perspective on sustainability and the steps beyond. Former Unilever CEO Paul Polman shared his views on the direction the world should be moving in. “’I have to be sustainable’ is ‘net zero’. But what does sustainable mean? No problem. It is a very noble thing to do. But “sustainable” means: “I maintain the status quo of what is happening now”. I support him. And that is no longer enough. A little less bad is still bad. The only way to think is to think restorative, restorative, regenerative, and that’s what we call “net positive.”

He continued to say that the net positive is not about doing less harm but about doing more good. According to Polman, a change must occur well beyond the scale of the industrial revolution. Increasingly, CEOs are required to be broader social leaders and to partner within and beyond the industry. Many CEOs struggle to make changes – and that’s normal. The good news, however, is that the greatest challenges also present the greatest business opportunities.

“We are really at the interface of 2 great ideas: feeding the present and preserving the future.

“It’s really about creating a business model where you can show that you profit from solving the world’s problems, not creating them,” Polman advised. “And when you can honestly answer the question, ‘Is the world better off because your business is in it?’ We’re at the point, confirmed by study after study, where the cost of not acting is getting higher than the cost of acting,” he said, “making it a huge economic opportunity to create that future. greener, more inclusive and more resilient, and not going back to the past where we came from, which, frankly, had run out of steam.

Two big ideas

Lyons concludes: “We are really at the interface of 2 great ideas: nurturing the present and preserving the future. Reducing is not enough; we have to do something different. Our belief is that agriculture has the greatest positive potential to influence the future of our planet in that it can provide nutrition for all while helping rural communities thrive and replenish our planet’s resources.

One of the ways in which agriculture can have a major impact on environmental restoration and conservation is through carbon sequestration, a concept explained by Vaughn Holder, director of Alltech’s Ruminant Research Group. He introduced the public to an Alltech research alliance called Archbold Expeditions. Based at the 4,050-hectare Buck Island Ranch station in Florida, this research monitors inputs and outputs of soils, nutrients, and pollution to evaluate experimental methodologies and modeling techniques to estimate carbon fluxes. and nutrients on cattle farms.

Vaughn revealed that the data shows us that by implementing pasture management practices, agriculture is in a unique position where it can both provide the food resources the world’s population needs while taking action. that will help conserve and restore the planet. In fact, he said that by focusing on feed and growth efficiency strategies and strategies for managing carbon sequestration on grazed land, we could reduce greenhouse gases by more than 50% .

“Our ability to manipulate it is going to become more important,” Vaughn explained. “Nobody else is positioned in how we have to do this.”

Endless possibilities

Echoing Vaughn’s message about the importance of conserving the world we live in, Nikki Putnam Badding, CEO and Chief Dietitian of Acutia, focused on expanding this theme to the global population. “Sustainability doesn’t start and end with environmental impact,” Nikki explained. “It actually means that we take care of the health of the planet and the people who share it.”

Nearly 3,000 delegates joined the Alltech One Ideas conference in person, another 5,000 online. Photo: Alltech

This is of growing importance as population growth puts additional pressure on our resources. Setting the table for 10 billion people by 2060 requires 70% more food. An impossible challenge? Heather White, author of ‘A green thing‘ knows that it is individual actions that lead to a culture shift towards solutions.

“Every generation rests on the shoulders of the past, and it’s safe to say that we are our ancestors’ wildest dream. We have the technology and the knowledge to make change happen, we just have to keep asking ourselves, where do we want to be in 30 years? What will be our legacy? With this mindset, instead of continuing with the principles of the past, the possibilities are endless.

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