Chaseman Spotlights

CH4 Global.

CH4 Global’s innovative solution to combat climate change.

As part of an ongoing series, Chaseman Global shines a Spotlight on the agricultural innovators who are making a positive impact on the future of our planet.

This edition explores CH4 Global, an aquaculture solutions provider fighting climate change through the power of a seaweed known as Asparagopsis.

Dr Steve Meller
It’s pretty clear that climate change today, post-Covid, is probably the greatest threat facing mankind. And we think wouldn’t it be great if there was a scalable path that creates dramatic reductions in greenhouse emissions over the next decade, that also generates dramatic sustainable revenue and impact on the planet.

Dr Steve Meller

CH4 Global’s CEO & Founder

Who is CH4 Global?

Since 2018, CH4 Global has been on a mission to impact climate change by harnessing the power of Asparagospsis - a seaweed proven to reduce methane in cows and other ruminants by up to 90%. With roots in New Zealand and South Australia, their vision is to establish zero methane agriculture globally.

This vision is shared by each member of the CH4 Global team, many of whom have come out of retirement because they have a genuine passion for the solution CH4 Global is providing to combat climate change. This was emphasised to us by CH4 Global's Chief Brand Guardian, Rowena Pullan.

Rowena said: "We find people approaching us who have a certain ideology and are very focussed on 'how can I give back and make a difference for future generations?'"

Headed up by CEO and founder Dr Steve Meller, CH4 Global is making waves in aquaculture. Steve truly believes his company is "solving what is one of the key scalable ways to impact climate change", and when you read on, you won't disagree.

The global problem

Over the next 20 plus years, methane will be 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide at warming the atmosphere. These statistics have sparked a global focus on reducing methane - a prime source of this being cattle.

There are around 1.5 billion cattle globally, and each cow releases about 70 to 120kg of methane each year - 40% of the annual methane gas levels contributing to global warming.

“Methane is the single biggest lever for climate change impact in the next 25 years.”

- United Nations report May 2021

Globally, cattle produce more carbon dioxide equivalent emissions than China. This is more than the emissions produced by the U.S., Europe, and India combined. Go ahead and total the emissions produced by the remaining 167 countries - you'll find cattle creates more. 

Whilst being highly unethical, a culling of cows would not solve this problem as the demand for beef and dairy products are increasing.

Today, we consume 200 million tonnes of protein each year, and by 2040, as the population reaches 9 billion, we'll need 200 million more tonnes. So, cutting out a main source of protein isn't practical and doesn't help our fight against the 2050 food shortage. 

CH4 Global's solution

The innovators at CH4 Global have a logical and practical solution to the problem. By incorporating the seaweed known as Asparagopsis into cattle diets, we could reduce their methane output by up to 90%, a reduction equivalent to 12.9 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide.

In essence, if the global livestock methane emissions are reduced by over 80%, the world could exceed the Paris Agreement's targets and be over halfway to achieving the 2030 target for a 2 degree Celsius reduction instead of the current trajectory.

How was the value of Asparagospis discovered?

Simply put, one farmer's observation turned into a groundbreaking discovery.

Native to New Zealand and Australia, Asparagopsis was first proven beneficial by the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation), James Cook University and Meat & Livestock Australia. 

Rob Kinley, former senior scientist at the CSIRO and now Chief Scientist for FutureFeed had a neighbour who was a farmer. After his cows kept breaking out onto the beach and eating seaweed, the neighbour noticed a difference in the cows. This observation inspired Rob to test the seaweeds in artificial cow stomachs to see if the seaweed was making a difference.

On initial testing, when Rob and the CSIRO put the Asparagopsis in the artificial stomachs, they thought the stomachs were broken as no methane was produced. 

However, after further testing and multiple feed trials across the U.S. and Australia, the results kept coming back the same. By this point, they knew they were onto something truly groundbreaking. 

Asparagopsis contains bromoform (CHBr3), which, when consumed by the cow or other ruminant animals, disrupts the enzymes of gut microbes living in the cow's stomach that produce methane when digested. 

While other seaweeds contain bromoform, Asparagopsis seems to concentrate it as well as having other benefits that set it apart. Further research and data proved the Asparagopsis was not only reducing methane but was helping the cow grow quicker due to the reduction of wasted energy which would have been previously produced by the methane - a massive benefit for farmers. 

Benefits of Asparagopsis

  • Environmentally friendly

  • Improves water quality

  • Entirely safe for cattle and ruminant consumption

  • Acts as a carbon sink, mitigating ocean acidification (seaweed takes in five times more carbon dioxide than land-based plants)

  • Helps reduce introduced nitrogen and phosphorus in the water from fertilisers and other environmental pollutants

Where does CH4 Global come into this?

CH4 Global's CEO and founder, Dr Steve Meller, has a long-standing relationship with Rob and the CSIRO. Steve was invited to the CSIRO to look at their research and support with commercialising Asparagopsis.

Following a World Energy Council meeting, Steve heard a talk by the Pacific Island Prime Minister – asking for solutions for lowering the island’s rising seas resulting from climate change. With his newfound knowledge of Asparagopsis, Steve realised the opportunity to make a difference for the planet's future and decided to launch CH4 Global in December 2018. 

CH4 Global was set up to create a global aquaculture ecosystem for Asparagopsis seaweed, cut methane emissions from ruminant livestock, and positively impact climate change.

Around this time, the CSIRO created FutureFeed Pty Ltd, which holds the global rights to license Asparagopsis worldwide to reduce methane. 

Only two companies have licenses from FutureFeed, CH4 Global being the only company to have a license for the Australian and New Zealand markets.

 

A $13 million investment.

CH4 Global was funded $13 million towards optimising the end-to-end scalability and production of Asparagopsis.
This recent series funding, led by venture capitalist company DCVC and DCVC Bio, with additional participation from several investors interested in climate change, is helping CH4 Global meet its vision of zero methane agriculture. 

Immediately processed after harvest and formulated into farmer-friendly products, Asparagopsis' bio-product will be used as a supplement for cattle and other ruminant animals. 

CH4 Global is using the investment to build the world's first-ever market demonstration facility. Here, the aquaculture process of Asparagopsis can be done in the native oceans or large scale tanks.

Essentially, if a farmer incorporates the Aspsaragopsis supplement into their cattle's feed, 50-100g regularly, the cattle's methane production will be drastically reduced.

As Asparagopsis is native to New Zealand and Australia, with the $13 million investment, CH4 Global aims to scale its operations by growing Asparagopsis in controlled environments - like tanks. Doing this will allow Asparagopsis to be accessible globally. 

How is CH4 Global making an impact?

CH4 Global is the first company to pioneer the harvest and process of Asparagospis in a sustainable and scalable way whilst reducing methane and improving the viability of oceans.

Currently, CH4 Global is operating in the native lands of Asparagopsis, New Zealand and South Australia, the latter of which being the primary market - projected to be worth at least $200 million in 5 years. 

In Australia, CH4 Global will be impacting the marine ecosystem, remediating waste nutrients from the agriculture and aquaculture industry through the power of Asparagopsis. 

In South Australia alone, there is enough marine space to harvest Asparagopsis to support over 200 million cattle. A 10% supply to the Australian supplementary cattle market would result in a reduction of 1.5-3.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions - 15% of South Australia’s total greenhouse gas output.

New Zealand produces the most agricultural methane of any developed country globally - with a carbon footprint five times greater than transport. CH4 Global believe that they can help achieve a 47% methane reduction by 2035, solely through their commercialised Asparagopsis. 

Steve has been on record to say: "If you looked at the impact of the 10 million cows and 22 million sheep in New Zealand, and you could eliminate it tomorrow and scale that business, you could take New Zealand to carbon neutral." 

In both New Zealand and Australia, CH4 Global believe they can create more than 3,000 net new jobs - primarily in harvesting and processing the Aspsaragopsis. As they expand, more jobs, business partnerships and opportunities will be created.

If this can be done in New Zealand and Australia, then as Rowena states, it can be done globally. "Our licence goes global in 2024, so that also fits with 'work it out and get it right in Australia, ' and then you're in a position to go boom and go around the world."

Benefits of commercialising Asparagopsis

  • Eliminates methane from cows
     
  • Build a new multi-billion dollar aquaculture industry
     
  • Creates thousands of new jobs 
     
  • Increase countries GDP
     
  • Positively impact the environment and global warming from both a land standpoint, cows being more efficient, and an atmospheric standpoint as less methane is produced
     

Rowena Pullan

This is something that could be scaled with human will, pretty quickly. And it could have a big impact pretty quickly. The biggest help we could do with right now, quite honestly, is advocacy with governments and especially regulatory authorities. Because being able to sell a product and make the methane reduction claims are going to be absolutely critical.

 

Rowena Pullan

Chief Brand Guardian

What does the future hold for CH4 Global?

Watch the webinar from the E Tipu 2021 Agri Summit, where Dr Steve Meller discusses CH4 Global's zero-emission agriculture solution.

Through the work of CH4 Global, Asparagopsis will be hitting the Australian market in 2022, intending to go global two years later in 2024.

Yes, there are and have been other attempts at reducing methane emissions from livestock. But these are either ineffective or ten years away. CH4 Global's innovative solution is a solution for now and not ten years from now. 

We at Chaseman Global would like to thank CH4 Global for speaking to us and for bringing crucial innovation, helping to combat climate change.

Get In Touch

Have your story spotlighted.

If you would like to share your story on how you are making a difference to the planet and would like to be included in our Spotlight series, we'd love to hear from you. For more information, please contact us and we will be in touch.

Required
Required
Required Invalid email address
Required
Required
Contact Details