Our 5-step pathway is supported by the Meat Industry Association. It provides tailored tools and resources to help meat processors lower their emissions and unlock business benefits.


All meat processing businesses, including small goods processors, can access this pathway for free.

Your decarbonisation journey starts here

Welcome to the Meat Processing Decarbonisation Pathway. Developed in collaboration with the Meat Industry Association, it provides tailored tools and resources to help meat processors lower your carbon emissions.  

Go to our tools and resources page to start your journey now.

The climate impact of the meat processing sector

New Zealand sheep and beef products are enjoyed in more than 100 countries around the world – with major export markets in Asia, Europe, North America, the Pacific, and the Middle East. Indeed, it is New Zealand's second largest goods exporter, generating $11.8 billion in export revenue in 2022.

The meat sector is also New Zealand's largest manufacturing sector, the sector employs over 35,000 people directly, with more than 56,000 jobs underpinned by the sector around New Zealand. The sector processes around 25 million sheep and five million cattle every year.

Use of gas and coal

The meat processing sector relies on steam and hot water for the cleaning and sterilisation of equipment, rendering of animal by-products, and for making specialty foods such as small goods and cured products.

To produce thermal heating, the sector largely uses natural gas in the North Island, and coal in the South Island.

This pathway focuses on reducing energy-related carbon emissions from meat processing, which ultimately means reducing the use of fossil fuels across the meat and small goods manufacturing processes.

By doing this, meat processors will reduce the impact of the sector on the climate, lower their costs, and ensure business continuity in a future low-emissions environment.

The business good of decarbonisation

Switching away from fossil fuels can have many benefits for business, beyond reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Cost savings – reduce operating costs through energy efficiency and fuel switching.
  • Social license – improve your reputation with socially responsible consumers and investors.
  • Brand value – tap into new markets, spark innovation and create business opportunities.
  • Employee engagement – attract and retain talent.
  • Compliance – stay ahead of regulation for climate change mitigation.

The sooner the switch, the greater the reward

The earlier businesses make changes, the faster potential cost-savings can be unlocked. By switching to low-emissions solutions soon, you can protect your business from potential fossil fuel supply and cost uncertainty. In addition, by acting quickly, your businesses may be able to get ahead of the pack for popular technologies – particularly if there is competition for limited resources.

Get started

Ready to begin? Explore our resources for meat processors and start your decarbonisation journey.