Interest in calculating carbon emissions has been recently gathering pace, with lively discussions at the NFU conference and the launch of the Net Zero: Farm Status Indicator.
There are several online tools available for calculating carbon emissions. They each have different advantages and limitations as well as varying levels of complexity. For example, a certain calculator may be very thorough in the way that it accounts for livestock emissions but could have limited options in accounting for perennial crops.
Some are very easy to navigate, only requiring simple data inputs and give a broad final result. Others require a lot of data input and a large time commitment.
If using a calculator, it is therefore important to understand your driver for using it and to choose the right one to meet your requirements.
THE THREE MAIN DRIVERS:
- Personal interest: You may already be interested in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have some measures or renewable generation in place and now want to move on to more detailed carbon accounting.
- Marketing: For consumers looking for a product with fewer emissions. In this case, the calculation methods and results are likely to be rigorously scrutinised and will need to be presented in such a way as to be comparable with those of other suppliers or brands.
- Obligation: To comply with the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) scheme or if your farm is part of certain supermarket supply chains. Here there are guidelines about where to set the boundaries for the calculation and whether an online calculator can be used or not.
How we can help
- Choosing the right calculator: We can help you select the best calculator for your type of business and purpose, collate your data, input it into the calculator and ensure that you get a representative figure for your farm.
- Making sense of a calculation you have already done: A report explaining your data inputs and your results, along with recommendations for reducing your emissions. We can also compare your results to typical industry standards or a farm more like your own to highlight the potential impact of specific changes.
- Bespoke greenhouse gas calculation: A much larger project that will almost always involve a site visit. It can be paired with a site energy audit to give you a thorough breakdown of your energy use on site, potential energy saving measures and an explanation of how they would impact your carbon emissions. Ideal if existing calculators fail to account for some of your grazing or crop rotation practices. Our ISO 14064-certified lead GHG verifies can produce your report to ISO 14064 standards to allow for rigorous scrutiny. This may be necessary if you want to use it for marketing purposes.
- Verification of a GHG Calculation and report: We can audit an emissions calculation that you have already had completed to ensure that your emissions have been calculated and reported properly, either to ISO 14064 standards or as a simpler validation of the calculations.
The Net Zero: Farm Status Indicator is a quick and easy guide to agricultural GHG emissions and how to reduce them.
It points you to other resources that will help you on farm, net zero guidance and a review of three carbon calculators most applicable to you. Get started at www.nfuonline.com/farmstatusindicator
To find out how we can help you with calculating your carbon emissions, call NFU Energy on 024 7669 6512. Plus keep up to date with other news at www.nfuenergy.co.uk.