The Egg and Sustainability

  • Watch for our new white paper on ’The Egg and Sustainability’ coming soon.

 

In the meantime here is a fact sheet with more information about today’s egg production and its vast reduction in environmental impact over the past 50 years:

AEB: Environmental Footprint Study - Fact Sheet

Researchers from the Egg Industry Center recently released results from a new lifecycle analysis (LCA) study of U.S. egg production systems that showed the egg supply chain has significantly decreased its environmental impact in the past 50 years. Even though egg supply has increased since 1960, the U.S. egg industry is leaving a smaller environmental footprint today.

Overall Study Facts:

 In 2010, the total supply of eggs produced was 77.8 billion, which is 30% higher than the 58.9 billion eggs produced in 1960.

Despite producing more eggs in 2010, the total environmental footprint in 2010 was 54% – 63% lower than the environmental footprint in 1960.

Using 1960 technology to produce the 2010 egg supply would have required 78 million more hens, 1.3 million more acres of corn and 1.8 million more acres of soybeans.

In comparison to 1960 technology, egg farmers are able to feed 72% more people with just 18% more hens using today’s egg production methods.

Environmental Footprint Highlights:

Compared with 1960, 2010 egg production has:

  • 71% lower greenhouse gas emissions or carbon footprint;
  • 65% lower acidifying emissions (nitric oxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide and ammonia);
  • 71% lower eutrophying emissions (the introduction of nitrogen and phosphorus into the environment);
  • 31% lower cumulative energy demand (the direct and indirect energy need for the entire egg production process); and
  • 32% less water use per dozen eggs produced.

Egg Production Highlights:

 Compared with 1960, hens in 2010:

  • Produce 27% more eggs per day and are living significantly longer as their mortality rate has fallen by 57%; and
  • Use 26% less daily feed, and at the same time have a 42% higher feed conversion rate.

Due to advancements in nutrition and bird breeding, young hens now weigh 30% less and the laying hen require a little over half the amount of feed to produce a dozen eggs.

Young hens are also living significantly longer in 2010, with a 70% decrease in mortality when compared to young hens in 1960.

 

50 Year Egg Study InfographicTo read or download a copy of the complete 28-page report on the Environmental Impact of Egg Production, click here.

To view or download the related infographic, click here.

To read the AEB press release, click here.


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