The latest news from the world of sustainability, the latest views from the brains behind Best Foot Forward
Media, 1 November 2012
The Cool Farm Institute has selected Best Foot Forward and CLM as software partners to build the Cool Farm Tool into a free online carbon calculator for farmers and suppliers. The Cool Farm Tool (CFT) is an industry-supported calculator designed to help growers measure and understand the carbon footprint of their produce and livestock. The current spreadsheet Cool Farm Tool is free for growers to download and use, with the Institute’s goal to help as many farmers as possible to take actions to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from their activities.
In May of this year Unilever, PepsiCo, Marks & Spencer, Tesco, Yara, Heineken and Fertilizers Europe joined forces to fund development and encourage use of a free carbon calculator for growers. These groups—that make up the Cool Farm Institute—recently announced competitive bidding for the development of the online carbon calculator. Eleven software firms responded to the invitation, and Best Foot Forward in partnership with the Centre for Agriculture and Environment (CLM) won the competition to put the Cool Farm Tool on the web.
“We couldn’t have asked for better,” said Cool Farm Institute spokesperson Christof Walter. “The winning team stood out but the process was extremely competitive. The proposals we got were from global leaders in life cycle analysis, carbon footprinting agriculture, greenhouse gas modelling and software development.”
Collaboration lies at the core of the Cool Farm Institute, with large companies working together to develop a common approach that will help their suppliers cut their carbon impact. It will standardise the requests made to farmers as each company takes steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their products, and help share best practices across the industry.
The Cool Farm Tool has already been widely used and tested by farmers who have found it both intuitive and informative. The Tool was created by the University of Aberdeen in partnership with Unilever and the Sustainable Food Lab. The Cool Farm Tool has the backing and support of leading academics and NGOs working on sustainability in agriculture.
Notes to editors
1) Best Foot Forward and CLM are independent consultancies that share the Cool Farm Institute’s mission of enabling millions of growers globally to make more informed on-farm decisions that reduce their environmental impact.
2) The Cool Farm Institute is hosted by the Sustainable Food Lab. The online version of the Cool Farm Tool spreadsheet calculator is expected in May 2013. For more information visit www.coolfarmtool.org
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