Carbon footprinting and Agrecalc
A carbon footprint identifies the quantity and source of GHG emissions (carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide) associated with an activity or a product through its life cycle and, when benchmarked, highlights areas where improvements can be made that will reduce emissions and save money.
At the farm level emissions arise from the use of fossil fuels, manufactured inputs, manure, as a natural by-product of animal digestion, cultivation of soils and changes in land use and vegetation. Beyond the farm gate agri-food chains also emit emissions through activities such as processing, packaging, waste management and haulage.
Farming For a Better Climate has used Agrecalc© for any carbon audits completed during the initiative, however other carbon calculators are available*.
The Agricultural Resource Efficiency Calculator, Agrecalc determines resource use and GHG emissions for the whole farm, per enterprise and per unit of saleable product. Only by breaking down emissions and resource use by enterprise can weaknesses be identified, meaningful comparisons be made and targeted mitigation advice be given.
*Whichever carbon calculator you choose, it is important that the same one is used annually to provide comparable carbon emission results year on year.
Key features of Agrecalc
- Enterprises include beef, sheep, dairy, pigs, poultry, cereals, oilseeds, potatoes, vegetables and fruits
- Emissions and resource use are calculated for the whole farm, per enterprise and per unit of saleable product
- Benchmarking of emissions and resource use against similar businesses
- Year on year comparisons of results
- Generates whole farm sustainability indicators and key performance indicators
- Future proof. Agrecalc has been developed with the help of SRUC research to ensure it can be updated as science develops
- Uses IPCC Tier I and II calculations
- PAS 2050 compliant providing assurance that the GHG emissions being reported are calculated in a consistent way across the industry