Being Zero Carbon is at the core of what we do (the clue is in the name). We want farming to be carbon negative, which is actually more achievable than you might think. We have a plan to reach a series of milestones on the route to carbon negative farming. So far we’ve built a farm in an old disused air raid shelter which we power using 100% renewable energy to grow crops that use less space, less water and take less time to grow. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far but know that there’s still a long way to go.
The first step towards zero carbon and beyond is carbon counting. We’ve accounted for all our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions for the last financial year. These are all our direct and indirect emissions such as energy use, transport emissions, water consumption and more. With the help of Carbon Footprint Ltd we can measure how much we emitted in the last year, which we can then use as a benchmark for both past and future emissions.
After carefully reviewing our options, we are embarking on the process of offsetting our historic emissions all the way back to our inception. We can do this via UK tree planting initiatives, certified by Carbon Footprint Ltd, focused on planting native British broad leaf varieties to provide wildlife habitats, support biodiversity, reduce CO2 & rewild the natural landscape.
This will bring us bang up to date with our historic emissions. Though once offset, the responsibility is on us to take the next step and outline our own standards for reduction. For this we have a variety of strategies concerning our water, waste, packaging, distribution and even factoring in emissions from our supply chain to reduce our carbon footprint going forward. All this will neatly be tied together within our wider sustainability strategy road map for the next five years. In 2021, this will be available within our Sustainable Strategy Report.
We’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far but know that there’s still a long way to go.
A cornerstone of our sustainability strategy is certification. Certification and accreditation ensures that we are transparent and accountable to the reductions we aim to make. Carbon Footprint Ltd have their own set of accreditations which we are following the steps of, but there are plenty of other initiatives which we are assessing, including Organic Certification.
Unfortunately, our delicious microgreens and baby leaf can’t be sold as organic… at least for the time being. The EU has not legally extended the organic certification to hydroponics and aquaponics systems because the crops are not grown in soil. According to these regulations, organic production is only possible when plants are grown naturally in soil. Alas, hydroponic produce is instead grown in perpetually-flowing water in which nutrients are dissolved and absorbed by plants rooted to a substrate. Nevertheless, in the US, some farms using these methods can be certified organic. Here in the UK, we are yet to bring organic certification into the debate. So until then we’ll continue to advocate for Controlled Environment Farming to be incorporated into such certifications.