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Food and land

Land and carbon footprinting

We are leading experts in estimating and monitoring the carbon footprint of whole landscapes and setting landscape-specific decarbonisation and land use targets. We use a wide range of national and local datasets combined with our in-house emissions factors.

For the residents, visitors and industries in an area, we look at the energy they use, the food and drink they consume, the products and goods they buy, and how they travel.

For the land itself, we look at non-carbon emissions, which is mainly from livestock and fertilisers, and the woodlands, hedges, peatlands and non-peat soils that absorb carbon.

Having those detailed estimates that make up a landscape carbon footprint means we can advise on changes to land use and changes to the organisations that manage land and engage with communities and businesses, so whole areas and regions can transition towards net zero emissions.

 

We have worked with small individual estates like Holker Hall and Gardens, to large landscape areas, including all 15 of the UK's National Parks, several counties including Cumbria, as well as Cotswolds, Cannock Chase and all 5 Welsh National Landscapes.

Image by Ian Cylkowski

Social responsibility

Image by Kristīne Zāle

Conservation

Image by Nikita Kostylev

Carbon sinks

Sustainable land use

We look at opportunities for nature-based solutions to help mitigate the climate emergency, such as restoring peatland, creating new woodland, and building healthy soils through regenerative farming practices. These actions also help to restore nature and increase biodiversity. 

Our approach is evidence-based and tailored to the individual characteristics of each location. Tree planting can boost biodiversity and be a long-term carbon sink in some areas, but not on natural peatlands or productive arable land. We recommend that any 'desk mapping' is field-tested, to get an accurate and detailed view of the characteristics of each packet of land. 

We look realistically at everything that land is needed for, including agriculture, social responsibility to an area's communities and visitors, natural and cultural conservation, ecosystem restoration, and other real-world challenges. 

We know that some changes will need support and actions from others within and outside your area. Having an evidence-based view of how things are now and where you could be aiming for will help you bring others with you and push for the support you need. 

You can use our new web-based Landscape Carbon Tracker to easily view your carbon baseline, targets and yearly progress in emissions reductions and carbon sequestration. 

Vegetable Stand

Food and menu carbon footprinting

By 2050 there are expected to be 9.8 billion people living on Earth. We're going to need to increase food production and distribution, while our agricultural land is increasingly being affected by droughts, floods and storms, as a result of the climate crisis. 

It's crucial that we balance food production, carbon storage, nature protection and restoration, and support for sustainable livelihoods in rural populations around the world.

Our research projects into food production map out how produce, nutrients and calories flow across the global food system. We also look at the impact of food waste and changes in consumer behaviours. 

 

We work with businesses in food production and hospitality, and can calculate the full supply chain carbon emissions of menus and ingredients so they can take the most impactful actions to reduce their emissions.

If you are a food producer, restaurant or caterer and want to know what your carbon footprint is and where you could make changes to reduce it, our food and land specialists can provide you with the most detailed and reliable emissions data.

UK Farming and Land Use

Addressing the Climate and Ecological Emergencies while Supporting Farmers

 

Our research paper brings the latest scientific evidence to the contentious and emotive debate around what truly sustainable farming and land use in the UK should look like.

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