Carbon Footprint

The number of tools and calculators available can be daunting. None are necessarily right or wrong, the appropriate tool for you depends on the question you are asking.

The National Inventory of Greenhouse Gas emissions is used for country level reporting using IPCC approach. The Carbon Disclosure Project is a main reporting body.

The standard methodologies for footprinting typically follow PAS 2050 or GHG Protocol guidance

Some of the most widely used carbon footprinting tools for farms and products in agriculture in the UK are:

ADAS is now running YEN Zero to calculate, compare and improve GHG intensities from cropping. ADAS has also launched HortZero for horticulture.

Share your experiences with Carbon Calculator tools in the comments below. 

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It is surprising that the calculators do not appear to have adopted some of the basics such as the UK tier three calculation for nitrogen fertiliser emissions. Is there a reason for this? It makes a big difference and along with the out of date global warming factors means that there is a risk of suboptimum investment decisions. 

As others say if you cannot measure accurately the quality of the decision making will be poor. 

 

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In 2015, the UK pledged to be Net Zero by 2050, with the NFU striving for the more ambitious target of 2040. Net Zero is achieved when the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted is balanced with those removed from the atmosphere. This helps to combat climate change and reduce global warming.

Opportunities are increasing for farmers and land managers to earn revenues from storing carbon in soils or vegetation, or by reducing baseline GHG emissions from crop and livestock production.

YEN Zero is a recently established network in the ADAS YEN Family, with the overarching aim of creating a net-zero community. It aims to bring key players from across the agricultural industry together to meet the industry’s target of achieving net zero emissions by 2040.

The Farm Carbon Toolkit was created by farmers for farmers. For over a decade, we’ve worked to further the understanding of greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture. We provide tools and services to measure impact and run projects with farmers that inspire action on the ground. Our vision is a farming sector that minimises its carbon emissions and maximises its carbon sequestration, whilst producing quality food and a wide range of public goods, all produced by resilient and profitable farm businesses. Some people call this vision a regenerative farming future.  

Carbon Metrics is a consultancy firm offering detailed analysis of agricultural carbon audits to help service sector businesses identify where on farm mitigation is both environmentally and commercially sustainable in order to help reduce the environmental impacts or greenhouse gases from farming enterprises

Farm carbon calculator to lower emissions and increase productivity

There is a lot of interest in soil carbon currently, due to the opportunity to store and sequester carbon in soil. It is also vital for soil health, forming part of soil organic matter.

Lots of initiatives are measuring and reporting the carbon or greenhouse footprint of products or activities, including crops, livestock and food.

regenagri is an international regenerative agriculture program for securing the health of the land and the wealth of those who live on it.

Farmers Weekly article by Mike Abram exploring four carbon calculators

Climate change threatens our ability to ensure global food security, eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development. In 2016, 31 percent of global emissions originating from human activity came from agrifood systems.

The key GHGs for agriculture that contribute directly to climate change are:  Carbon dioxide (CO2)  Methane (CH4)  Nitrous oxide (N2O)   All these GHGs are often grouped under the umbrella term ‘carbon’. 

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An overview of the greenhouse gas costs of cropping, including an analysis of YEN data in lead up to establishing YEN Zero.  Also includes an analysis of the relationship between nitrogen fertiliser, GHG costs, yield, GHG intensity and potential indirect land use change (ILUC) consequences.  

An overview of the greenhouse gas costs of cropping, including an analysis of YEN data in lead up to establishing YEN Zero.  Also includes an analysis of the relationship between nitrogen fertiliser, GHG costs, yield, GHG intensity and potential indirect land use change (ILUC) consequences. Part funded by the Morley Foundation.

Review by NFU into carbon calculators - available to NFU members only

According to PAS 2050 Specification for lifecycle assessment of GHG emissions the increase in Soi

AHDB Research Review No 94. 2020.  By Elizabeth Stockdale and Vera Eory This high-

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