Cool Farm Alliance to advance climate accounting and reporting in Australia

THE Cool Farm Alliance, a non profit membership organisation founded to advance climate change mitigation and sustainability in the global agriculture industry, has unveiled plans for its Cool Farm Tool 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 will increase the Cool Farm Tool’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 in Australia. The review concluded that country specific emissions factors within the Cool Farm Tool are crucial to accurately estimate on-farm emissions in Australian cropping.

The Cool Soil Initiative, 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 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.

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

Daniella Malin, CFA’s Head of Impact and Collaboration, said, “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.”

The planned tool extensions, focussed on tailoring crop residue, fertiliser- and other nitrogen 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.

Dr Cassandra Schefe, Project Lead for the Cool Soil Initiative, said, “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.

“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.”

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