Sustainability is a top priority for the Canadian egg industry in 2017. We have a great record on this front–a recent study found that over fifty years, our industry’s environmental impact was cut in half. Now we’re looking to the future, and how we can do even more to make egg farming an environmentally-friendly industry. To that end, we turn to the experts… and there’s no expert quite like Dr. Nathan Pelletier.
Dr. Pelletier is a sustainability science researcher, having earned both his Master’s and his Ph.D from Dalhousie University. Today he is an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia in the Okanagan, working in both the Department of Biology and the Faculty of Management. He is also the Egg Industry Research Chair in Sustainability. He’s spent roughly a decade researching the science of sustainability, with a laser-like focus on food systems. He’s passionate about building a more sustainable world in ways that make economic sense. But it’s the way that he pursues this goal that is uniquely valuable.
Dr. Pelletier specializes in environmental life cycle assessments. He looks at the entirety of an industry’s supply chain to determine its environmental impact from the beginning of production to the consumer’s end use of a product. It’s a truly holistic evaluation of environmental impact, and in the case of the egg industry, Dr. Pelletier finds it particularly fascinating.
“The modern egg industry provides a really wonderful example of both the challenges and opportunities of managing food production with sustainability objectives,” says Dr. Pelletier.
Dr. Pelletier is the mind behind the study which showed the egg industry’s environmental impact was halved while at the same time the sector grew by 50%. He has modeled over 100 agricultural supply chains over his career, ranging from aquaculture and fisheries to traditional agriculture. What made this study unique was that it was retroactive, and revealed an industry that has made real progress in growing and greening at the same time. The question now is: what next?
Dr. Pelletier is on it. His research is focused on creating new tools and techniques to green the industry even further. “The overarching goal is to provide the Canadian egg industry and their value chain partners with rigorous, science-based tools that will really enable mainstreaming sustainability in this industry.”
Where does Dr. Pelletier see his work five years from now? “In five years,” he says, “I’m hoping to see that the information and tools that my research labs produce are being put into practice across the Canadian egg sector.” We’re so excited to work with him! Watch this video and learn more about Dr. Pelletier’s amazing research: