Carefully planned over the past few years and initiated in 2014 during the World Equestrian games, the EquuRES quality seal is the very first environmental program dedicated to the horse industry, in all of its segments: equestrian centers, training facilities, breeding farms, stables dedicated to competitions and racing… The “Sustainable Development” concept appeared in the late 1980s and gradually arose to encompass every type of human activity, whether economic or societal. It obviously includes agriculture and its child branch, the horse industry. As a response to our society’s increasing demands and the legislation intended to meet them, the Lower Normandy Horse Council, initiated the EquuRES program, meant to implement changes for a more responsible horse industry. Candidate businesses applying for the EquuRES seal are expected to pledge to conserve natural resources, favor local supply chains for fodder and litter, ensure the welfare of the horse and provide the animal with appropriate veterinary care, limit the environmental impact of transportation, control energy consumption, protect their environment’s landscapes and biodiversity, properly manage and recycle manure and waste and properly maintain buildings. Success naturally heavily relies on raising awareness within the entire horse community.
A candidate’s commitment is verified by a team of certified examiners designated by the Horse Council. Assessment is conducted in the framework of a rigorous set of criteria and strictly objective practices. One of the innovative aspects of the program is that the EquuRES seal is awarded in three progressive stages, according to the degree of compliance with the requirements through the matching criteria: COMMITMENT, PROGRESS and EXCELLENCE. Each candidate business is thus encouraged to improve, at its own pace, its environmental record. 15 organizations of all sizes and from various segments of the industry have already been certified in Lower Normandy. EquuRES is meant to grow into a national, and hopefully international token of excellent sustainability in the horse community.
Candidates running for the EquurEs award must commit to the following nine objectives:
1. Conserve natural resources (water, air, soil, etc.)
2. Favor local supply chains for fodder and litter
3. Ensure the welfare of the horse and provide the animal with appropriate veterinary care
4. Limit the environmental impact of the use, operation and transport of agricultural machinery
5. Control energy consumption (heating, lighting, equipment) so as to ensure responsible use of
energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
6. Responsibly maintain outdoor areas and landscapes; protect biodiversity
7. Reduce, properly manage and recycle manure and waste
8. Properly maintain buildings and equipment
9. Raise awareness within the business community
From the above objectives 9 corresponding focus points are determined. Each focus points consists of a multiple number of criteria which is graded on a four scale level.
1. Food and litter
2. Animal well-being and veterinary care
3. Travel, transportation and agricultural machinery
6. Outdoor areas and landscape
7. Manure and waste management
8. Building management
9. Work community leadership and communication
Unfortunately we have no insight in the criteria itself, but as soon as we get more information, we will add it.
Source for text and image: Normany Horse Council, Equures