Carbon Calculator

A new carbon calculator will be an invaluable tool for helping farmers to run their operations in a more sustainable manner.


Developed by Lincoln University’s Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit (AERU) and engineering consultancy Agrilink, the calculator offers

farmers a quick method for assessing their carbon footprint and discovering how their activities could be affecting the planet.


With the country discussing the possibility of implementing a zero carbon target, farmers face concerns about how this may affect them

as they increase their efforts to run their operations more sustainably.


The calculator offers a quick way for them to discover their impacts and supports farmers in making better choices, both for their farms

and the country.

It is intended to help start a conversation from a position of knowledge amongst the 98% of farmers who do not know the

greenhouse gas emissions from their farm.


As carbon can be a very abstract concept, the tool compares the impact of farm emissions to the environmental effect of

long-haul flights between New Zealand and London, the distance travelled in a car, or the area that could be

planted to offset their emissions.


It uses details such as farm size, stock number, fertiliser and fuel use to calculate carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions.


The results appear as total COequivalents.


Meridian Energy and Westpac NZ have provided financial assistance towards the development of the new product.


The greenhouse gas calculator was originally developed in 2008 to better inform the Food Miles debate.


It has now been updated to give farmers a quick approximation of their carbon footprint and is not intended to replace detailed

greenhouse gas modelling tools.