COOL Farm Alliance has today announced plans to extend its Cool Farm Tool to incorporate country-specific emission factors that better account for crop-residue and nitrogen input-emission sources to be tracked in the Cool Soil Initiative cropping program.
Following work over coming months, the CSI and CFA will work together to provide CSI farmers and corporate members with additional insights on their environmental footprints along with the confidence to make credible impact claims.
CFA’s head of impact and collaboration Daniella Malin said the CFA existed 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,” Ms Malin said.
The planned tool extensions focus on tailoring crop residue, fertiliser and other nitrogen input-induced emissions to improve the alignment between CSI supply chain-emission reporting with Australia’s National Greenhouse Gas Inventory methods.
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, 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 CSI in Australia.
The review concluded that country-specific emissions factors within the CFT were crucial to accurately estimate on-farm emissions in Australian cropping.
The CSI, an end-to-end supply chain program for companies to demonstrate sustainable sourcing while supporting farmers in the adoption of climate-smart agricultural practices in Australia, uses the CFT for its reporting due to its global acceptance by corporate investing partners.
CFA describes the CFT as a leading calculator for the global agriculture industry.
It is used in 150 countries to estimate ESG metrics including greenhouse gas emissions, soil-carbon sequestration, water stewardship, and biodiversity.
The Cool Farm Tool is supported by 140 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.
“This is a significant moment for on-farm emission reporting in Australia,” CSI project lead Cassandra Schefe said.
“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 Schefe said.
“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.”
The Cool Soil Initiative formed in 2018 on investment from Mars Petcare, and by 2020, Kellogg, Manildra Group, Allied Pinnacle, Charles Sturt University and Food Agility CRC were also involved.
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.
The CFA is a science-led, not-for-profit membership organisation that owns, manages, and improves the CFT and cultivates the leadership network to advance regenerative agriculture at scale.
The CFA’s growing membership includes many of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, NGOs, academic institutions, farmer groups and agronomists.
The CFT 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.
CFA 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 CFT is used for carbon accounting, and is marketed as being grower focussed, using a peer-reviewed model and methods to calculate greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sequestration and other environmental impacts of agricultural activities.
It can be used to support scope 3 GHG calculations, enabling companies to more accurately track GHG emissions across their supply chain.
Source: Cool Farm