Cool Farm Alliance and Cool Soil Initiative collaborate to advance climate accounting and reporting in Australian crop value chains

Long-term partnership will enhance the global Cool Farm Tool for the benefit of farmers, companies, and other supply chain stakeholders operating in Australian agriculture.

UK, July 05, 2023 – The Cool Farm Alliance (“CFA”), a nonprofit membership organisation founded to advance climate change mitigation and sustainability in the global agriculture industry, unveiled today plans for its Cool Farm Tool (CFT) to achieve yet another milestone in global applicability. The industry consortium will incorporate country-specific emissions factors, starting with Australia’s national inventory emission factors for cropping. These modifications, due to be completed by September 2023, will increase the CFT’s relevance in both Australian domestic and international markets, and streamline emission reporting for farmers and customers.

This project is the result of an extensive review and deliberation process that commenced with the Cool Soil Initiative (“CSI”) in Australia. The review concluded that country specific emissions factors within the CFT are crucial to accurately estimate on-farm emissions in Australian cropping. The CSI, an end-to-end supply chain programme for companies to demonstrate sustainable sourcing while supporting farmers in the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices in Australia, uses the Cool Farm Tool for its reporting due to its global acceptance by corporate investing partners.

Long recognised as one of the leading calculators for the global agriculture industry, the Cool Farm Tool is used in 150 countries to estimate GHG emissions, soil carbon sequestration, water stewardship, and biodiversity, among other critical ESG metrics. The Cool Farm Tool is supported by 140 leading companies and accessed by tens of thousands of users including farmers, crop advisors, and other agribusiness leaders each year. Australia-specific factors will enhance the Cool Farm Tool’s regional applicability.

In the coming months, the Cool Soil Initiative and Cool Farm Alliance will work together to incorporate country-specific emission factors that better account for crop residue and nitrogen input emission sources tracked in the CSI cropping programme, providing CSI farmers and corporate members with additional, actionable insights on their environmental footprints along with the confidence to make credible impact claims.

“The Cool Farm Alliance exists to pool resources and gather the highest levels of scientific expertise from all around the world. We’re supremely grateful to the Cool Soil Initiative team for their contributions and delighted to be working together to improve the Cool Farm Tool, in this case, by adapting it to extensively researched emission factors that better reflect the specific cropping conditions in Australia,” said Daniella , CFA’s Head of Impact and Collaboration.

The planned tool extensions, focused on tailoring crop residue, fertilizer- and other N input- induced emissions, will improve the alignment between Cool Soil Initiative supply chain emission reporting with Australia’s National GHG Inventory methods. More broadly, the partnership sets an important global precedent and call-to-action for greater regionalisation in climate assessments – which will be essential to ensure that accurate and transparent monitoring, reporting, and verification takes place around net-zero progress.

“This is a significant moment for on-farm emission reporting in Australia. Farmers and companies tell us they want streamlined reporting that aligns with both domestic and global market needs, and that recognises the unique conditions under which Australian farmers grow food and fibre,” Dr Cassandra Schefe, Project Lead for the Cool Soil Initiative, remarked on the launch of the partnership.

“As farmers and supply chain companies continue to work on understanding and reducing their emissions, it’s essential to have reputable, science-based tools that work throughout the supply chain and in all markets. And that’s what the plan launched today is all about.”

Download the press release here

About the Cool Soil Initiative

The program formed in 2018 with initial investment from Mars Petcare with Kellogg, Manildra Group and Allied Pinnacle joining with Charles Sturt University and Food Agility CRC in 2020. Combining on-farm extension and research to lower emissions and build soil fertility, CSI continues to scale its geographic reach and membership base, with Corson Grains and PepsiCo ANZ the latest companies to join. For more information, visit https://www.csu.edu.au/cool-soil-initiative/home.

About the Cool Farm Alliance

The Cool Farm Alliance is a science-led, not-for-profit membership organisation (community interest company) that owns, manages, and improves the Cool Farm Tool (CFT) and cultivates the leadership network to advance regenerative agriculture at scale.

The Cool Farm Alliance growing membership includes many of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, NGOs, academic institutions, farmer groups and agronomists. The Cool Farm Tool engages and empowers users through quantification and modelling “what-if” scenarios covering on-farm greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, water and food loss and waste. Cool Farm Alliance members share the need for a respected, consistent, standardised, independent calculation engine and have joined the Alliance to ensure the Cool Farm Tool meets this need, now and in the future.

The Cool Farm Tool is simple to use yet scientifically robust in the complex arena of carbon accounting, characterised by:

  • It is farmer focussed, reflecting common farm management practices and requiring only input data a farm manager would typically have easily to hand.
  • The use of robust, deterministic site sensitive, peer reviewed models and methods to calculate greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sequestration and other environmental impacts of agricultural activities.
  • Uncovering in a practical and pragmatic way, practices and actions which are associated with positive (and negative) environmental performance.
  • By utilising the tool to support scope 3 GHG calculations, companies can more accurately track GHG emissions across their supply chain.

For further information, visit coolfarm.org

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