Soil in a cotton field

Supporting cotton growers in a carbon economy

Published

Carbon accounting is usually confusing and cumbersome. The current default methods for measuring carbon are spreadsheets which take time and often require a level of expertise to complete. They are also commodity-specific, meaning mixed-enterprises cannot easily measure their total carbon footprint. 

Eight Australia’s RDCs, including CRDC, are working to overcome this challenge via a cross-sectoral project to develop a carbon footprint solution with Agricultural Innovation Australia. Originally called the ‘Know and Show your Carbon Footprint’ calculator, the Environmental Accounting Platform (EAP) is an easy-to-access tool to help growers better understanding their on-farm baseline carbon emissions and residual footprint and make better-informed decisions.

AIA launched the new online carbon calculator at evokeAG in Perth this week. The first of its kind, the EAP enables a carbon footprint to be calculated at a commodity, enterprise and whole of business level and provides Australia with an accessible and standardised approach to carbon accounting across different commodities. 

“Primary producers and their industries need simple, time-saving tools that allow them to understand their carbon footprint and support decision-making around reducing emissions and capturing new business opportunities,” AIA CEO Sam Brown said.

 “It’s crucial that our sector has the data and evidence to help drive positive environmental and economic outcomes, demonstrating that Australia is ahead of the curve.”

Professor Richard Eckard, Chair of the EAP Technical Advisory Panel and Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre within the University of Melbourne, said the platform allows producers to enter data once to achieve a whole of enterprise carbon footprint.

“AIA has taken the current Greenhouse Accounting Frameworks for Australian Primary Industries and digitised and aggregated them into a common platform,” Professor Eckard said. 

“The aim is to provide a new way for producers to baseline their operation, calculate their carbon footprint and make more informed decisions.”

The beta version of the EAP is currently live for cotton, grains, beef, sheep, goats, feedlot and sugar, with pork, dairy, eggs, poultry, rice, fisheries, aquaculture, wine and other commodities to follow. Growers are invited to register their interest in trying out the live beta version via AIA: www.aginnovationaustralia.com.au/aiaeap.