Products

Product CO2e / kg Studies

Beef

28.102
CO2e / kg
= 100 g of Beef
You can consume
0.1
kg of Beef to exhaust your daily CO2e food budget

Categories: Meat | Food

Beef production accounts for 35% of global livestock emissions1, which is about 5% of total global emissions2.

About 40% of the emissions from beef production is from methane produced in the cow's stomach1. Manure accounts for about a fifth of the emissions, while feed contributes about 15-20%. Land use change as a result of pasture expansion makes up about 15% , whereas energy consumption and postfarm emissions represent less than 2% of the emissions in total.

Regional differences in emissions range from 14 kg CO2e / kg carcass weight (CW) to 76 kg CO2e / kg1. Emissions are lower in wealthy countries due to better feed, genetics and animal health. In Europe, emissions are relatively low, between 14-19 kg CO2e / kg. This is because 80% of the beef production there is a co-product from dairy production. In contrast, beef production in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are over 70 kg CO2e / kg.


  1. Opio, C., Gerber, P., Mottet, A., Falcucci, A., Tempio, G., MacLeod, M., ... & Steinfeld, H. (2013). Greenhouse gas emissions from ruminant supply chains–A global life cycle assessment. Food and agriculture organization of the United Nations. https://www.fao.org/3/i3461e/i3461e.pdf (Figure 5); Beef production emissions = 2.5 billion t CO2e; Breakdown of emissions: Figure 5; Regional emissions: Figure 11b. 

  2. Total global emissions in 2016 = 49 billion t CO2e. https://ourworldindata.org/greenhouse-gas-emissions 

Subcategories: Beef (fillet) | Beef (dairy herd) | Beef (topside) | Beef (rump) | Beef (T-bone) | Roast beef | Beef salami | Beef (low fat) | Beef (foreshank) | Beef (flank) | Beef (shank) | Beef (round) | Beef (outside round) | Beef (tenderloin) | Minced meat (beef) | Beef (eco) | Beef (cold cut) | Burger | Beef (beef herd) | Beef (steak) | Beef (braising steak) | Beef (smoked)

Studies

Source Notes CO2e Country origin Country consumption Weight
Environmental impacts and resource use of Australian beef and lamb exported to the USA determined using life cycle assessment Grass-fed diet: 27.2 (97% of Australian cattle is grass-fed, https://theneffkitchen.com.au/inspiration/grass-fed-vs-grain-fed-beef-explained/)
Medium-fed grain diet (115 days): 23.4
Long-fed grain diet (230 days): 25.6, for premium meat such as Wagyu
27.2
Australia USA 10
RISE Open access list 1.7 Per kg boneless meat, not cooked
41.0
Brazil Sweden 0
Systematic review of greenhouse gas emissions for different fresh food categories Table 5 Median; #LCA studies: 49; #GWP values: 165; Mean: 28.73; Stdev: 12.47; Min: 10.74; Max: 109.3
26.61
Unknown Unknown 8
Greenhouse gas emissions of realistic dietary choices in Denmark: the carbon footprint and nutritional value of dairy products Table 1; including waste; excluding waste: 27.99
31.45
Unknown Unknown 8
Potential contributions of food consumption patterns to climate change domestic, fresh, cooked; CO2: 6.9, NO2: 6.6, NH4: 17
30.0
Sweden Sweden 8
Meat eater's guide to climate change + health Table 4 pre farmgate
Beef Production System kg of CO2e per pound (kg??) of edible beef
Idaho 13.86
Nebraska 16.60
Average 15.23
Per kg of consumed meat (includes moisture loss, waste loss and post-farmgate): 27.0 kg CO2e
Table 5 post farmgate:
Emission Sources kg of CO2e per pound (kg??) of consumed beef
Processing 1.26
Domestic transport 0.33
Refrigeration (Retail) 0.08
Home cooking 1.00
Waste disposal 0.09
Total 2.76
27.0
USA USA 6
Pendos CO2-Zähler Rindfleisch
13.3
Unknown Unknown 5
Klimatarier CO2 Rechner Rindfleisch
12.29
Unknown Unknown 5
Mat-klimat-listan Variation 17-40 kgCO2/kg
26.0
Unknown Sweden 6
Greenhouse gas emissions from Swedish production of meat, milk and eggs 1990 and 2005 Supplement 9, Table 5a: beef production 2005; at farm gate
15.53
Sweden Sweden 8
Reducing food’s environmental impacts through producers and consumers Figure 1, beef (beef herd)
50.0
Unknown Unknown 8
Life Cycle Impacts of Proteinrich Foods for Superwijzer conventional
23.9
Netherlands Unknown 4
Life Cycle Impacts of Proteinrich Foods for Superwijzer Argentina
46.1
Argentina Unknown 0
Life Cycle Impacts of Proteinrich Foods for Superwijzer Poland
26.7
Poland Unknown 0
Life Cycle Impacts of Proteinrich Foods for Superwijzer Germany
20.3
Germany Unknown 0
Life Cycle Impacts of Proteinrich Foods for Superwijzer Ireland
25.6
Ireland Unknown 0
Life Cycle Impacts of Proteinrich Foods for Superwijzer Brazil
87.1
Brazil Unknown 0
Ökologische Fußabdrücke von Lebensmitteln und Gerichten in Deutschland (IFEU) Rindfleisch, Durchschnitt
13.6
Unknown Germany 6
Greenhouse gas emissions from ruminant supply chains regional emissions range from 14 kg CO2-eq/kg carcass weight (CW) to 76 kg CO2-eq/kg. Lower emissions in affluent countries due to better feed, genetics and animal health.
46.2
Unknown Unknown 10
RISE Open access list 1.7 Per kg boneless meat, not cooked
28.0
Sweden Sweden 5