Sustainability Benchmarking

National Beef Sustainability Assessment and Strategy

The National Beef Sustainability Assessment is a strategic assessment that benchmarks the environmental, social and economic performance of the Canadian beef industry. It highlights the areas where industry is doing well, and identifies opportunities for improvement. crsb pillars 1

The first National Beef Sustainability Assessment, released in October 2016, benchmarked the current status of the Canadian beef industry across environmental, social and economic parameters, and provided a baseline to monitor and measure progress in future assessments. The assessment informed the development of the CRSB’s Sustainability Strategy to help target future work, particularly under the CRSB’s Sustainability Projects pillar.

Future assessments will monitor progress and improvement across all three pillars of sustainability. CRSB plans to conduct the assessments every 5-7 years.


NEW! 2020 Interim Progress Report: National Beef Sustainability Strategy


The CRSB established Research Priorities by the Scientific Advisory Committee in 2017 and updated them in June 2020.

Goals Identified in the National Beef Sustainability Strategy:
GOAL #1 Build a stronger and more united Canadian beef sustainability community
GOAL #2 Reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of Canadian beef per unit of product produced
GOAL #3 Enhance ecosystem services and biodiversity on lands managed by beef producers
GOAL #4 Enhance riparian health and reduce the water footprint of beef production
GOAL #5 Reduce post-harvest meat waste
GOAL #6 Promote farm safety and responsible working conditions
GOAL #7 Promote excellence in animal care
GOAL #8 Support the further development, monitoring and dissemination of best practices regarding antimicrobial use
GOAL #9 Increase the financial viability of beef production in Canada
GOAL #10 Increase demand for Canadian beef though consumer awareness of sustainable beef production


* The assessment published in 2016 was guided by a Steering Committee consisting of members of the CRSB, industry experts and researchers. Deloitte and Canfax Research Services were commissioned to conduct the assessment, which was reviewed by an external third-party panel of experts. Subsequent assessments will be guided by the CRSB’s Scientific Advisory Committee.



Following are a number of summaries, reports and factsheets to learn more about the results of the assessment and strategy.

NBSA Assessment Factsheet print 2017 11 29 Page 1NBSA Strategy Factsheet print 2017 11 29 Page 1




NBSA summary report cover

Summary Report: National Beef Sustainability Assessment & Strategy

National Beef Sustainability Strategy


Full Reports

National Beef Sustainability Assessment – Economic Assessment

National Beef Sustainability Assessment – Environmental and Social Assessments



The following infographics highlight key results from the National Beef Sustainability Assessment (click on each image for shareable files).  

carbon storage GHGs blue water
meat waste CRSB Biodiversity producer viability
CRSB Emissions CRSB Water Use CRSB Half Emissions





















Resources for Further Learning:

Video and Discussion Questions

The below 35 minute video of the 2016 National Beef Sustainability Assessment is designed to be used in introductory agriculture courses where students have a base understanding of the Canadian Beef Industry. This can be utilized with the Student Discussion Questions. Instructors can contact for an answer key.

2016 NBSA Results Video