Greenhouse gas footprint-tool for Dairy Crest Direct

Designing and testing a tool to calculate energy use and greenhouse gas emissions for dairy farms

Project duration: June 2007 to July 2008

CSE has designed and tested a tool (building on an initial spreadsheet developed by Forum for the Future) which calculates energy use and greenhouse gas emissions for dairy farms.

The 1,700 dairy farmers that will benefit from the tool are located in an area of England south of a line across the country from The Humber to Aberystwyth, together with Cumbria.

The tool will help to:

  • Accurately measure and compare the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from activities on dairy farms
  • Allow farmers to see where reductions in energy use are possible and how changing practices will affect energy use
  • Enable farmers to identify and prioritise improvements they could make to reduce their emissions
  • Underpin a measurement and monitoring system, which Dairy Crest Direct Ltd. may then offer (through Dairy Crest Ltd) to clients as the basis for developing premium milk products

CSE coordinated a steering group from the project partners to ensure that a broad range of practical farming knowledge and agricultural expertise was injected into the project.

The tool was further developed as a working spreadsheet to improve its robustness and accuracy and then adapted into a web tool accessible at first to 150 farmers who were involved in the pilot and then to all 1,700 farmers associated with Dairy Crest Direct. The tool was also developed to automatically generate individual reports of energy saving and emission reducing recommendations.

A rating system and banding of results was introduced, utilising the central database of data from the individual farms that have been created, to make the results comparable between farms across a number categories. A system of data verification was developed both through automatic checks and routine audit inspections.


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