1st June 2020
At JSR, we are keen to minimise our effects on the environment. We already have many of our own sources of renewable energy as well as a keen eye for the stewardship of our local environment. To help us go even further we have recently embarked on a project to find the most useful tool for our farms to use when it comes to CO2 output calculation.
The search for a carbon calculator is the first step allowing us to transform into a carbon neutral business before 2040. Measuring our carbon footprint across the business enables us to have a defined starting point to really focus where meaningful gains can be made. Assessing the footprint of each farm individually will allow us to try different strategies which can be measured and compared to deliver annual improvements.
Completing a carbon footprint assessment allows us to measure our greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impact whilst identifying the areas that require improvement. In most instances optimising performance improves our efficiency, raises our production standards whilst also reducing carbon emissions. We are making a valued effort to reduce our environmental impact and develop our business model to streamline our food production while improving our local ecosystems.
A carbon calculator assesses direct and indirect emissions from three Greenhouse Gases (GHG): carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. Emissions are converted into carbon equivalent values using their potency levels to give an overall impact as a ‘carbon footprint’. CO2 removal by our environmental schemes, soil, hedgerows, crops and trees (carbon sequestration) is calculated and subtracted from the overall emissions from farming to give the net impact of the business.
A thorough evaluation of currently available carbon calculators was carried out to ensure the most comprehensive tool was chosen to undertake the assessments. It was decided that the chosen software needed to accurately assess the three GHG’s, allowing a detailed level of data input and importantly allowing a whole farm assessment of a joint arable and livestock farm operation.
The chosen tool for our carbon footprint assessment is the AgRE Calc carbon calculator, designed by SRUC. The decision came after many calculators were deemed unsuitable for accurately assessing our farms. Many calculators are predominantly designed for cattle, which was a problem due to their inability to accurately measure other forms of livestock, which is what the majority of the JSR business is based upon. AgRE Calc requires data input across three main sections: Land and Crops, Energy and Waste, and Livestock, allowing a whole farm assessment of a joint livestock and arable unit, rather than individual reports per each element of the business. It is a well-designed tool for all areas of livestock and arable production. Results are calculated using data from 1 financial year, producing clear reports which allow for concise decisions to be made which will help shape our strategy for CO2 reduction over the next 20 years.
We are confident that our early adoption of this carbon calculator and accurate measurement of our current footprint from our 30 sites, will enable reduction strategies to be rapidly introduced into our business to beat the 2040 target for carbon neutrality.
For more information visit www.agrecalc.com
Please contact JSR on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like us to quote to assist you with the CO2 output modelling of your farming business.
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