ArkeaBio: Changing the World Through Ruminant Methane Reduction

Animals on farm


Kristina Shea

Kristina Shea


Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management

Case Western Reserve University - Weatherhead School of Management


Ron Fry

Ron Fry

Global Goals

13. Climate Action 15. Life on Land

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ArkeaBio is committed to changing the world, one ruminant at a time. Livestock methane emissions amount to over 3 billion tons annually in CO2 equivalents and contribute to 6% of Green House Gas (GHGs). Through a partnership with Texas A&M, where the organization has a herd of cows and doing research on measure methane production, the ArkeaBio™ vaccine can reduce methane produced by ruminants helping us hit some of our SDG goals more quickly.


Did you ever consider that cows, goats, and sheep (ruminants) produce methane? Not only do they produce methane but they are a large contributor to greenhouse gases. Not eating meat isn’t the solution because many of these animals are needed in the outback of Australia and by the Bureau of Land Management to graze and maintain grasslands.

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that has a much greater impact on the ozone layer compared to carbon dioxide. Over a 100-year period, methane has a global warming potential of around 28x higher than CO2, with the predominant impact occurring over the next 10 years. The innovation, which is a safe vaccine for cows, goats, and sheep, originated twenty years ago in Australia in industrial research organizations and breakthrough energy ventures, and was primarily an academic theory and exercise until recently. Through a partnership with Texas A&M, where the organization has a herd of cows and doing research on measure methane production, ArkeaBio™ vaccine can reduce methane produced by ruminants helping us hit some of our SDG goals more quickly. The organization is primarily focused on UN SDG 13 – Climate Action and SDG 15- Life on Land.

The innovation is a vaccine that is safe, and effective for cows, goats, and sheep. This new technology has created a unique and rapidly executable opportunity to significantly reduce GHGs. The world urgently needs solutions to mitigate GHGs. The vaccination-based approach allows for much-needed decarbonization of global meat and dairy products across multiple geographies, supporting greater sustainability in agriculture. Vaccines can be quickly deployed worldwide at scale, providing ArkeaBio with an unmatched opportunity to make a near-term global climate impact. The product is backed by science that shows a correlation to the reduction of methane production in cows, goats, and sheep that can be administered easily during farmers' normal vaccination schedules.

ArkeaBio™ is working hard to impact the Climate Action and Life on Land goals. Currently, with the rate of global warming, small farmers are the largest impacted by climate change. By partnering with farmers, the organization plans on creating income sources that will help small farmers be more sustainable and also help reduce their impact on the environment. The organization's innovation could reduce GHG significantly and quickly. The innovation is scalable and can be brought to market quickly, creating a carbon market that doesn’t currently exist.

ArkeaBio: Changing the World Through Ruminant Methane Reduction


Dr. Colin South is a scientist-meets-entrepreneur. I met him years ago when we worked together at a food innovation start-up up, and I always admired his scientific lens and love for livestock. When reflecting on his highpoint moment in the organization, it was centered on the discovery role in R&D and the hypothesis that a vaccine can control methane projection. He was hooked. Colin was so excited when they recently replicated a study that would show that this could be a viable product and change the world.

He expressed his excitement about being able to take a hypothesized academic innovation, through rigorous R&D and study designs actually out to market. It energizes him, stating, "This innovation gives the opportunity to take a short-lived pollutant, to methane reduction from farms that can help stop global warming for 5-10 years. The real impacts of the warming have much greater effects in the first 10 years. This could give the world some breathing space for hitting our global warming reduction goals.”

When thinking about the best part about the organization to date, Colin shared that, "This project is a great intersection of new markets and large global markets that could have a huge impact on the reduction of GHG. It's a 50 billion dollar untapped opportunity, and carbon markets could be imagined that could change the world based on this innovation. This project could solve a large slice to address global warming, and potentially the fastest. There are also current manufacturing capacities that allow for quick access to markets, and it’s an ideal start-up that focuses on business for good."

He continued, “There is a need to resolve this methane problem without removing ruminants, which produce a high-quality protein on lands that sometimes can’t be used for anything else. Saying not eating meat doesn't solve the crisis since the animals provide grazing and other land management techniques that are important even if you don’t consume the meat.”

Overall impact

The global north has markets that have carbon offsets that have high prices (California and Canada), which is 10-15 percent of the problem. There are about 1.2 billion animals in the world. China has 300 million cows, 250 million in Brazil, and New Zealand and Australia have 30 million, and in addition to the US and Canada, the goal is to hit Brazil, Argentina, and other countries that can account for 80 percent of the methane production created by livestock.

In the future, Dr. South visions that this could impact 500 million cows in India and Brazil, which could generate up to 300-500 million tons of GHG, which could be a huge opportunity. Article 6's goals are also addressed with NDCs that allow for global trading. If this carbon market for methane takes off, supporting a billion tons a year just in the livestock space. If it’s globally traded, it makes a big difference if you're in India and you have 5 cows. It could bring money into small farmers' pockets through global trading credits. This could be $100 US dollars a year to a small farmer in India, which could change their position in life.

Business benefit

ArkeaBio™ has an equity and justice lens it uses for recruitment and retention, and people are paid equally. It currently has 20 employees in its Boston headquarters and secured its first round of funding to take it through the next few years to bring the product to market, which took Dr. South nearly a year to secure.

The organization's vision is really a large, globally traded methane market that could be traded internationally. This would positively impact small farmers in India and China, helping their economic stability while also reducing methane production globally. This would open new investment markets and potentially create a huge market.

ArkeaBio™ is creating a new product that doesn’t exist and has been incubating in academia for years. You can get a glimpse of the research as Dr. South talked about what it’s like to measure methane production in a cow. Imagine a cow coming up to a feeding trough, training them, and measuring methane pre-post with the vaccine. Instead, they have technology that can be placed with a simple pill into the animal that can measure methane production for its whole life. This is one way the organization envisions using technology to positively impact sustainable agriculture worldwide – through data and science.

Social and environmental benefit

This organization and its vaccine innovation create awareness around animals and the impact they have on the environment. Through rigorous research and using technology, we can reduce methane production quickly and easily in one of our largest resources – livestock. Not only can the innovation impact the Climate Action STG goals, but it also can improve economic conditions for small farmers and potentially create a methane market that can be tradeable, similar to the carbon credits that exist in the US. When you purchase an airline ticket now, you can offset the carbon with markets currently. Imagine when you purchase a lb of beef that you could purchase methane offsets! It’s a big goal and a big vision.


Colin South, CEO

Business information



Boston, MA, US
Business Website:
Year Founded: 2021
Number of Employees: 11 to 50

ArkeaBio™ is an agricultural science company developing a safe, cost-effective, and scalable vaccine to reduce livestock methane that is realistic for global execution using existing agriculture-business practices. Livestock methane emissions amount to over 3 billion tons annually in CO2 equivalents and contribute to 6% of Green House Gases (GHGs), and their vision is to significantly reduce GHGs with a simple, safe vaccine for ruminants.