Determining the carbon footprint of a National Trust country estate

Date

2009-09

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Cranfield University

Department

SAS

Type

Thesis or dissertation

ISSN

Format

Citation

Abstract

The UK Government aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 % by 2050 against a 1990 baseline. Agriculture makes up around 7 % of UK emissions and the industry is under pressure to meet these targets (and to produce more food). To achieve reductions it is necessary to be able to calculate emissions. This study looks at methods to calculate the carbon footprint of a National Trust estate with livestock, arable farming and a stately home. Methods explored include greenhouse gas inventories, life cycle analysis and carbon calculators. A carbon calculator designed for farms was selected (the CALM Calculator) and applied to Wimpole Hall, Cambridgeshire. Key greenhouse gas sources were identified and estate activity data gathered to calculate the footprint. A comparison was made between current arable practices and proposed organic methods. Emissions from estate energy and water consumption were also included. The arable non-organic farm emitted 1018 tCO2e, 73 % due to N2O emissions from nitrogen fertilizers. The livestock farm emitted 686 tCO2e, 44 % from cattle. Estate emissions from electricity, heating oil and water supply were 303 tCO2e. The total estate footprint was calculated as 2007 tCO2e. A change to organic arable methods was predicted to deliver an estate footprint of 1361 tCO2e but yields will be less (organic wheat is said to yield only 68 % of non-organic). The removal potential of conversion of areas of arable to grassland (41 tCO2e) and particularly of farm woodland (1430 tCO2e) was noticeable. Combined these can offset 73 % of total estate emissions using non-organic arable methods and 103 % of total estate emissions using proposed organic arable methods. Shortcomings of the method are identified along with the high level of uncertainty connected to the results. The issue of reduced yield expected under organic arable cultivation is highlighted and the implications of balancing reduced emissions with maintaining food production are explored.

Description

Software Description

Software Language

Github

Keywords

Greenhouse gases, emissions, livestock, arable, non-organic, removals

DOI

Rights

Relationships

Relationships

Supplements