How it works
The process of reducing emissions usually starts with carbon accounting. This is measuring the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused directly and indirectly by a site or a business and is expressed as tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. The carbon equivalent emission figure then acts as a benchmark against the effect of various changes and improvements in subsequent years.
The most widely used method used to account for carbon emissions is the GHG protocol. This splits emissions into three scopes.
- Scope 1: Direct emissions from owned or controlled sources.
- Scope 2: Indirect emissions from the generation of energy bought for own use.
- Scope 3: All other indirect emissions (not included in Scope 2) that occur across the value chain of the business, as a result of both upstream and downstream activities.
Due to the complexity of reporting all three scopes, it is common practice in carbon accounting to report only on emissions derived from Scopes 1 and 2. Sometimes these and the upstream emissions from Scope 3 are considered, this is referred to as ‘from cradle to farm gate’.
Completing one of the carbon calculators on the market is a great way to measure the carbon footprint of your farm. Many carbon calculators provide a result in terms of carbon dioxide equivalents, providing in depth information about the sources and sinks of farm emissions.
Carbon accounting can be a complicated task, and understanding both the inputs and the results from the available calculators can be difficult.
What to do next
NFU Energy has experience in on-farm carbon accounting, and we offer a consultancy service to:
- Assist you in choosing the most appropriate calculator for your product or farm.
- Advise and help with the data inputs to ensure that you are getting a representative figure for your farm/produce.
- Analyse your carbon equivalent emissions figure to further explain the results and give quantified recommendations on areas of improvement.
Alternatively, if you do not want to use one of the available calculators, we also offer a more bespoke full calculation project.
If you are interested in carbon accounting and reducing emissions, call the NFU Energy team on 024 7669 6512.