It’s mere days before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro begin, and Julio Natalense is excited for the athletes about to compete on this world stage – but he’s just as excited about a herd of cattle several hundred miles to the north in the Brazilian state of Matto Grosso.
The herd, managed by Grupo Roncador, is serving as a sort of demo farm for area ranchers to improve livestock management across the entire region. Natalense, technology and sustainability leader for Dow, is assisting with this project and several others that make up Dow’s efforts as the Official Carbon Partner of the Rio 2016 Games.
“It’s like a classroom for other producers in the region to come and learn new techniques and improve their own operations,” he says.
A carbon-tracking methodology will allow Dow to measure emission reductions and monitor 50,000 hectares of pastureland or more.
“Recovering pastureland is just the first step,” Natalense says. “Ranchers will see the economic and environmental benefits as they look at more and more advanced management practices that incorporate forest, pasture and crop land [under a single management plan].”
Another project will link participating farmers to satellite imagery, weather monitoring, soil sampling analysis and more to allow smarter variable-rate applications of nutrients. This project covers 25,000 hectares and spans two crop season, a summer crop (soybean) and a winter crop (either corn, cotton or soybeans).
That’s just two of many initiatives Dow has undertaken in an effort to mitigate 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent – the estimated direct impact the Olympics will have on Rio. Dow hopes to offset another 1.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent thru 2026.
Natalense says it goes against the spirt of the Olympics to leave a huge environmental footprint in its wake. He says agriculture is just one segment of Dow’s efforts to offset carbon emissions in Brazil. Separate manufacturing, packaging and construction projects are also underway.
More information on these efforts is available at www.dow.com/carbonmitigation.