FIG. 1: GHG emissions from greasy wool production across four case studies assessed with seven alternative methods for handling co-production of wool and LW …[live weight, sheep meat]…*

Sheep are commonly used for the coproduction of meat and wool, therefore the quantification of the negative impacts on the environment is complex in its nature.

The impacts of the production and consumption of agricultural „products“ are best assessed by accounting for resource use and environmental emissions throughout the full life cycle of an animal, and life cycle assessment (LCA) is an important methodology(e.g. ISO 2006).

Sheep are an important part of the global agricultural economy due to their multi-functional role in the production of meat, wool, milk and co-products (e.g. skins, tallow, blood and renderable products), as well as for their …[considered]…wider range of cultural and ecological benefits (Zygoyiannis 2006). Sheep also contribute to the substantial, negative, environmental impacts of livestock production systems, which occupy over one-quarter of the world’s land surface area and contribute significant quantities of greenhouse gas  emissions -GHG (Steinfeld et al. 2006).

GHG emissions based on the biophysical allocation  of wool protein to wool resulted in 10–12 kg CO2-e/kg wool, whereas it increased to 24–38 kg CO2-e/kg wool when the biophysical allocation included a proportion of sheep maintenance requirements.

With our INVITRO-WOOL Patent we will contribute substantially to the disruption of the wool supply chain, wheras we will erase its most environmental and animal harming sequences within the utmost coverage and control of the under displayed supply chain. 

FIG.2: Wool Supply chain *

Land occupation has commonly been reported as an impact category (de Vries and de Boer 2010), though where land use is simply reported as a unit area of land for a given period of time (i.e. m2/year) this more accurately reflects an inventory value than an impact assessment value (Koellner et al. 2013). As noted by Koellner et al. (2013), land use inventories should identify the current use of the land.

Globally, sheep production utilise a wide variety of land types, and where land occupation is used as a measure of the efficiency of resource use for food or fibre production, it is fundamentally important to classify land in terms of potential alternative uses.

Land occupation can be classified in three categories at the inventory level that reflect the quality of the land for use in other agricultural systems and a measure of the disturbance of that land.

These three broad land types are:

arable land used for cultivation,

arable land used for pasture (potentially suitable for cropping),

and non-arable land used for grazing (unsuitable for arable crops).

Existing  studies on co-production systems of sheep wool and  meat are showing that mitigation strategies focussing on one product (wool) without taking into account changes in the co-product system (meat) can result in erroneous conclusions because negative changes in the co-product system have the potential to outweigh positive changes in the main product system. 

The added complexity, of correctly analysing the negative environmental effects of sheep co-production and simultaneously obtain reliable data wether substitution products strategies -like switching to soybeans or other crop production system is indicated,  remains on a high level as f.e. it’s not possible if the land used for grazing sheep is unsuitable for grain production.