Sainsbury’s dairy farmers have reduced their greenhouse gas emissions through a new carbon footprint programme.
The AB Agri Greenhouse Gas Model, certified by the Carbon Trust, allows farmers to identify where greenhouse gas emissions are occurring so that they can put measures in place to curb losses.
“The reductions have come from simple things like putting sensors on their yard lights so that they are not on all night, harvesting rainwater for re-use, or installing plate-coolers - a more energy efficient way of cooling milk than in the bulk tank,” said AB Agri’s Bob Beavan.
The AB Agri Greenhouse Gas model, which is monitored annually by an independent assessor, requires farmers to complete an environmental scorecard on various aspects of their farming practices and input numerical data into the model. It provides a carbon dioxide equivalent score on a farm, per cow and per litre of milk basis. Farmers can also see how they compare with the average results of the other participants.
“What is exciting about this project is that it allows farmers to compare the impact of specific farming practices, and identifies practical steps where they can cut emissions. It then calculates the size of the reductions achieved after changes have been made,” said Euan Murray from the Carbon Trust.
It said that the model could be adapted to measure the carbon footprint of a wide range of primary and processed food products.