Carbon footprinting and managing emissions

Cool Farm tool

Posted by : Gordon Rogers | Category : Carbon footprinting and managing emissions | Comments : 0 Comments


The Cool Farm Tool (CFT) is a greenhouse gas calculator that is free for growers. It can help them measure the carbon footprint of crops as well as livestock.

The tool is currently being used by the Australian processing tomato industry. It is also being used worldwide by:

  • Unilever (tomatoes)
  • Costco (eggs)
  • Pulse Canada (navy beans)
  • GIZ and Sangana (coffee)
  • Heinz (tomatoes)
  • Oxfam (Broccoli)

The CFT was originally developed by Unilever and researchers at the University of Aberdeen to help growers measure and understand on-farm greenhouse gas emissions. The tool is designed to be simple to use but scientifically robust in the complex arena of carbon accounting. The CFT has been tested and adopted by a range of multinational companies that are using it to work with their suppliers to measure, manage, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the effort to mitigate global climate change.

The CFT is a farm-level greenhouse gas emissions calculator based on empirical research from a broad range of published data sets. It is designed to be approachable and easy to complete, using information that a farmer will have readily available. The tool identifies hotspots, makes it easy for farmers to test alternative management scenarios and identifies those that will have a positive impact on total net greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike many other agricultural greenhouse gas calculators, the CFT includes calculations of soil carbon sequestration, which is a key feature of agriculture that has both mitigation and adaptation benefits.

The CFT was vetted, improved and adapted over two years (2010-12) through the global farming assessment Cool Farming Options, led by the Sustainable Food Lab in conjunction with University of Aberdeen and Unilever. Cool Farming Options was supported by 17 sponsoring partners and involved CFT pilots in 16 crops, in 15 countries. The project had an additional eight non-sponsoring partners with pilots in seven other countries and six other crops.