Why Deloitte Supports Regenerative Farming and Carboneg

Ing. Jan Staš
July 17, 2022
Climate and carbon credits

How is Deloitte taking a stand on regenerative agriculture? What are the expectations of the transformation of the agricultural sector in the future? Or what is the company's approach to achieving carbon neutrality? We asked Beata Hlavčáková from Deloitte Advisory s.r.o., the largest consulting company in the Czech Republic, about these and other questions.

Also, with the support of Deloitte, the first conference Živá krajina took place at the beginning of March this year. It was a unique event that opened up the topic of regenerative agriculture and more sustainable farming in the Czech Republic.

  • The event brought new perspectives on possible ways of reducing the carbon footprint through farming.
  • It outlined a more sustainable vision of the future for soil, landscape and agricultural production.
  • And it presented fundamental trends and innovations in animal and plant production.

In a follow-up interview with Beata Hlavčáková from Deloitte Advisory, we found out why the topic of regenerative agriculture is interesting and important for Deloitte.

Why does Deloitte support regenerative agriculture and Carboneg?

Why did Deloitte decide to support the topic of regenerative agriculture and the first ever conference of its kind in the Czech Republic, Živá krajina?

For Deloitte, sustainability is a key topic, and regenerative agriculture, with its complexity, scope and inclusiveness, also applies to the area of social justice, depleting natural resources less, improving their sustainability and bringing benefits to local communities.

Deloitte has been dealing with innovation and the issue of climate change for a long time. How do you think the agricultural sector will change?

In connection with climate change as well as a growing global population, the agricultural sector faces major challenges, and at the same time, current agricultural practices are not sustainable in the long term. We know that, for example, Czech agriculture suffers from soil erosion and, according to climate scenarios, must also expect more frequent droughts and a lack of water for irrigation. Changes towards sustainable practices using the natural functioning of ecosystems and the protection of soil health will therefore be necessary. The European Commission, which presented the new (EU Soil Strategy for 2030), is also aware of this.

Agriculture is troubled by the ever-increasing price and quantity of inputs. In addition, they make the final production more expensive. How big of an opportunity can the switch to regenerative agriculture be for farmers? What can it bring them?

Yes. Currently, industrial practices and processes in agriculture cause a decrease in organic matter in the soil, reduce its absorption capacity and fertility and cause its degradation. At the same time, by releasing a large amount of CO₂ into the atmosphere, they contribute to climate change, chemicalization of soil and water with high doses of industrial fertilizers, and plant protection agents. And at the same time, they are also financially demanding for farmers. It is precisely the principles of regenerative agriculture with closed cycles and synergy with nature, that increase biodiversity, regenerate the soil and increase its fertility and thus yields. For example, the farmer does not have to buy nitrogen fertilizers, but plants mixed crops with legumes, which capture it from the air and deposit it in the soil through bacteria.

Connecting the so-called draws, natural belts, between the fields improves biodiversity, increases the number of birds and the number of insects, and improves pollination of crops, which increases the yield and income for the farmer.

The topic of carbon farming is coming to the fore. Healthy nature and landscape and climate protection are among the priority topics on which the Czech Republic will profile itself as part of its presidency of the Council of the European Union. What role can the Czech Republic play in this regard?

British and American research suggests that some regenerative farming practices can actually be regenerative and can return CO2 to the soil. If we promote carbon retention in the soil, we can reduce the concentration of CO₂ in the atmosphere. The Czech Republic can educate farmers and introduce programs supporting biodiversity and sustainable agricultural practices, which will also help sequester CO₂ by increasing the organic component in soils.

In the future, are you interested in joining the Carboneg project and buying a carbon credit (offset) to achieve your carbon neutrality?

As part of our sustainability program, we at Deloitte have also taken measures to reduce our carbon footprint. In order to achieve carbon neutrality, we also need a CO₂ offset, and we are therefore interested in joining the Carboneg project, in which we will also involve our clients.

Deloitte on opportunities for farmers planned by the European Commission

Of course, the Živá krajina conference could not avoid the upcoming new legislation or the upcoming EU subsidy calls. The new strategy of the European Commission (EC) until 2030 supporting the so-called carbon farming was presented. Our partners from Deloitte Advisory also worked on the topic as part of the conference.

In the previous article, we already shared with you a practical summary of information about what carbon farming actually is and what are the objectives of the European Commission in agriculture. You can listen to a lecture on this topic by Filip Hloušek from Deloitte below:

It is obvious that regenerative farming and applying its principles in practice, which will enable an increase in soil fertility and thus an increase in yields, is one of the ways of the future development of agriculture. Therefore, it is desirable that space is created for discussion, development and support of this issue, also within events such as Živá krajina. We believe that this also brings us closer to achieving carbon neutrality and a healthy environment.

Did you like the lecture at the Živá krajina conference? Have you used Deloitte consulting in the past and want to share your experience with us? Or do you think that agriculture will go in a different direction in the future? Share your observations with us via e-mail carboneg@carboneg.com. Thank you!

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