Monday, 14 January 2019

Scilly Organics carbon footprint

Every year we try to complete a carbon footprint analysis of Scilly Organics, using the Farm Carbon Calculator. Unfortunately we didn't complete it in 2017, but here is the comprehensive analysis from 2018.

The reason for doing it is to understand what is happening in terms of the carbon released during all the activities to produce vegetables, as well as all the carbon being sequestered (stored) in all our soils, trees and hedges. It is a very comprehensive process

The results are quite stark. In total the business emits just over 4 tonnes of CO2 per year, mostly from fuels, capital items (embodied energy in things like steel, concrete and tractors), fertility (nitrous oxide from green manures and compost), and materials (bought in things like timber, steel, plastics of various sorts).

To put this in context the average UK per capita carbon footprint is about 12 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The counterbalance to emissions is sequestration - the carbon absorbed in organic matter in soils, and various biomass on the farm. This came out at more than a staggering 64 tonnes of CO2, i.e. 16 times what was emitted. In short that is very good news!

Most sequestration is happening in the soil, which is an endorsement of our soil management policy (add lots of organic matter, minimise tillage, cover the ground where possible). Furthermore we have quite an area of woodland and a lot of very productive hedges, all of which are busy sucking in CO2 and storing it in their biomass.

What this shows is that Scilly Organics is an example of a farm which absorbs far more carbon than it emits, meaning every purchase from us is a positive one in climate terms. Every farm could, and should, be doing something like this from a carbon perspective.

If you'd like to see the full carbon footprint analysis you can get the detail on our website here